Saturday, 18 February 2012

Reeds galore

I've been to lots of reedy reserves around the country, but I think Ham Wall RSPB in Somerset takes the biscuit, so I'm not surprised that it's billed as being a nationally important wetland. The reserve is in the northern part of the Somerset Levels & Moors near to Glastonbury & has been created from old peat workings. We went in search of a Great White Egret that's been at the reserve for a few weeks, well I went in search of it & Simon & Vera came along to keep me company!

The Egret had been on Birdguides as being near the 1st viewing platform the day before. We arrived late morning, walked into the reserve along the old railway line to the first viewing platform & there it was! The Great White Egret was at the back of the lake, but being very accurately named, it stuck out like a sore thumb! One of my easier birds!

It's the white blob at the back taken on my 5x zoom Lumix
Simon & Vera stayed at the viewpoint whilst I walked around the 1.3km Loxton Marsh Trail. I'm not very good with bird calls, but Cetti's Warblers are very distinctive & even I can recognise them. There were several calling from the reeds, but unfortunately I didn't manage to see one. Normally when I list birds for a day or trip, I count a bird I've heard but not seen as long as I've seen it in the UK before. I'm currently waiting for clarification as to whether this is also the case for the Year List Race. I was really hoping to see a Bittern with all those reeds, but the closest I got was a large buff coloured bird flying behind trees at a distance,  it could have been one, but then again......certainly not good enough to count.

Open water & reeds, with Glastonbury Tor a little bump in the background.
Headed back to the viewpoint without seeing anything new, just a few Cormorants, ducks, tits & finches. Simon & Vera had just made it back to the van, so I joined them for a quick lunch. Ham Wall was on one side of the Car Park, and on the other side was Shapwick Heath National Nature Resreve. It would have been rude to leave without having a quick look, so I nipped in whilst Simon & V listened to the Testostatones Doo-Wop singers on radio 2. They were excellent.

More reeds, unsurprisingly, but also some  very wet woodland. I walked in as far as the first hide where I saw a couple of lovely male Goldeneye in among the other ducks. Still no Bittern or Bearded tits, but it was a flying visit as we had to get V home for her tea!

Noah's Lake from the hide
Wet woodland

I was impressed with both reserves & will definitely be making a return visit.

Year List on 129 & 1 Sub-species (maybe 130 if I can have the Cetti's!)

1 comment:

  1. Good job on both types of illustrations ;-)