Yesterday I decided it was time to go for another rarity. The Cream-coloured Courser was tempting, but it was bit far (Herefordshire somewhere) & I had one on the Scillies back in 2004. So, I headed off to Weston-super-Mare for the Great Reed Warbler, which I’ve only seen in Spain before.
It was at the sewage works, which was actually quite picturesque as sewage works go!
|The view from the sewage works banking|
When I arrived at about 10.00 there were a few people there, which was handy as I wasn't sure where to go. As I was putting up my tripod the bird flew between 2 areas of reeds, but I had my hands full so didn't get my bins on it. It certainly looked big! It was silent for a while, but then started singing, & boy is it loud! At least the pressure was off as I'd seen it, but I really wanted a better look.
|The Great Reed Warbler was singing near the left hand bushes|
Most people left, so for a while there were just 2 of us & it turned out that the other chap was from Exmouth as well! Then a few more people arrived including 2 very casual chaps who arrived and immediately lay down on the bank for a snooze! A couple of chaps saw the warbler climb a reed, but I missed it. It was quite windy, so it was mainly staying low & out of sight. I was in no hurry, which was just as well! At about 11.30 it reappeared & I had a reasonable view, all be it a bit obscured through the reeds. At least I could see it singing. I decided to give it until 12.00 to see if I could get an even better view. At 11.58 it flew out of the tall reeds & was fully visible on the short green reeds in the middle of the channel before flying further down the channel & disappearing. So did I.
|Great Reed Warbler spotting|
It was a lovely sunny day, so I thought I'd make the most of it. Although I've been to Shapwick Heath a few times now, I've always started at the East end & never gone beyond the Noah's Hide junction. I decided this was a good afternoon to go a bit further. When I got to the junction there was a Landrover, some chairs, scopes & an enthusiastic man from Natural England. It turned out that they had just announced that Great White Egrets have bred on the reserve & according to the chap, the male Egret was due to come in to feed the youngster in about 10 minutes! I waited with baited breath, & waited, & waited & made use of the chairs, & waited some more. Luckily I was in no hurry! About 1 1/2 hrs later, in he came, dropped down into the reeds for about a minute & then flew off again. Great!! The wait had been very pleasant & we did see a Bittern fly in then start booming which was rather nice.
|The nest is near the middle tree behind the reeds|
|The watch point|
|Dropping into the nest by the twiggy tree|
I then walked off to the Decoy Hide, which was quite a way. There was an impressive fly-by of 7 helicopters of various types. It would probably have been better though if it hadn't flown right over the reserve.
|The 7th wasn't flying in the formation|
I didn't see many birds, but I had a lovely walk & saw a few other beasties.
|Horrible huge beetle (about 1 1/2 inches)...a Devils Coach-horse maybe?|
It had been a fab day. Year List now on 189 + 2