This photo is taken at Shapwick Heath. Shapwick Heath is one of the best places in the country to come to see Hobbies. This charismatic falcon is one of the fastest birds of prey, specialising in taking dragonflies on the wing and also Barn Swallows and House Martins on occasion. At its peak, up to 70 can be seen in the air at a time. As I watched between 20 and 30 Hobbies on this particular day, it brought to mind a WW2 film of the battle of Britain. They looked like they were having dog fights up there! An amazing sight.
This is a path to one of the several hides at the reserve. In the winter, you can sometimes see Marsh Harriers and Bitterns from here. It is also a very good place to see Otters which have made a welcome comeback to the Levels.I was surprised to see both Beautiful and Banded Demoiselles on the wing. It is pretty early to be seeing them. Here is a male Banded Demoiselle with its amazing iridescent blue sheenI think this is a female Beautiful Demoiselle as the wings have a brownish tinge rather than the green of the female Banded Demoiselle.A pair of Southern Damselflies just about to get it together.In the last week or so Common Whitethroats have come in to the country to breed here. They winter down south of the Sahara desert and only stay with us for the summer. Their scratchy song is often sung from the top of a small tree or shrub or during a brief song flight.A Grey Heron making its way across Tadham Moor.Several Mute Swans on a rhyne at Tadham.I just liked the colours in this photo of lily pads in one of the acidic rhynes, again on Tadham Moor.That's all for now from the Somerset Levels.