Sunday, 19 April 2009

Somerset Levels supplement!

While the computer was in computer hospital, I took another short trip to the Somerset Levels. It was on a weekend and a lovely day so there were lots of people about (I should've got up about 3 hours earlier)! Anyway, a week or so can make alot of difference at this time of year and on this day there were lots of new bird arrivals onto the wetlands. There were Sedge and Reed Warblers singing everywhere in the reedbeds and this Cetti's Warbler (pronounced Chetties) was unusually right out in the open singing it's explosive song to attract a partner. These birds are usually very skulking. They are a real success story as they have expanded their European range to Britain over the last 20 to 30 years and are now a relatively common bird in wetlands at least in the south of the country. I tried to find a website where you could hear the very distinctive song, but couldn't find one. Anyone know of a good British bird song website?Here I caught him in full song. I like the way the light was falling on him in this photo.Another Warbler that was obliging today was the Chiffchaff. This bird and the Willow Warbler are quite similar in looks, but at this time of year they don't present too much of a problem as the songs are completely different.The Chiffchaff's song sounds like it's name, in other words it is onomatopoeic. One of the easier ones to learn when starting out birding.This young swan seemed to give me quite a haughty look as it sailed by me (I think it hissed too), not very friendly! I love the oily look to the reflection here.It was a lovely couple of hours, but I definitely think I need to get out there earlier in the day.

12 comments:

Chris said...

HI Jenny,
Looks like you got a great day. Like you, I loved your second picture where it is singing and the fade light coming to its chest is just wonderful. A great shot, congrats!!

Eve said...

What wonderful pictures Jenny! I love that singing warbler...you must have been tickled to get that shot. And the "oily" water is quite the touch!
Another wonderful post!

Shellmo said...

It looks like a beautiful day Jenny! Never mind that hissing swan!!

Steve B said...

You have some fine birding spots over there. Your warbler photos are really great. Thanks for taking us along.

Roy said...

That's a great shot of the Cetti's Jen. A very nice find.
Check the RSPB website.

http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/c/cettiswarbler/index.asp

Mary said...

Beautiful little warbler and that wide-oepn mouth shot is great! He looks like he would be very loud :-) Beautiful young swan and the oily looking water makes it look like a painting.

Jenny said...

Hi Chris, yes it was a great morning, glad you liked the Cetti's singing shot.

Hi Evie, I think when you get a shot of a bird you know is usually soooo difficult to see, that makes it special.

Hi Shelley, it was indeed a beautiful morning out there and I didn't let that swans bad mood get to me! (-:

Hi Steve, I feel very lucky to have the Levels virtually on the doorstep (about 40 mins drive from home). It is a place full of character.

Hi Roy, thanks for the Cetti's link and yes, I was pleased that the Cetti's decided to sing out in the open for a few seconds!

Hi Mary, he is indeed VERY loud. I will put that link that Roy sent me in my next posting and then you can go and check it out for youself. You've had some great reflections too I remember. (-:

Quiet Paths said...

Such great close ups, Jenny. What a gorgeous day it was. Do you have a lot of insects around these areas too for the birds?

Re said...

I'm in awe of your ability to get these photographs.

Jenny said...

Hi Christine, yes I think because of all the water and reedbeds etc, there are gazillions of insects. This is one of the best areas in the country for seeing Hobby (a falcon that come to Britain for the summer to breed). They hunt on dragonflies and Martins and Swallows etc. I believe you can see as many as 50 hunting over one particular reserve at a time. An amazing sight!

Hi Re, sorry can't find your name, but thanks for stopping by my blog. I enjoy taking photographs of the wildlife that I see out and about, but have a long way to go in terms of having control over what happens with the camera if that makes sense! (-:

Rajesh said...

Really nice pictures. Fantastic

The Early Birder said...

Great to capture a Cetti's & in full song. I have a few friends who still have not sen one well enough! Well done Jennie.