Thursday, 28 February 2013

Around the Somerset Levels

With the absence of good weather here at the moment, I'm posting my wanderings around various parts of the Somerset Levels a few weeks ago. No wonderful shots particularly, but it was a lovely blue sky day which is what I've been missing!

Catcott Lows is a Somerset Wildlife Trust Reserve (I think) which boasts a reasonable hide overlooking wet meadowland. This dries out in the summer but is at its best right now. 
The ducks weren't playing ball on that day, they stayed pretty distant. Ok for using a scope, but not for my camera! There were Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler and the odd Pintail.
 There's a nice view over to Glastonbury Tor from the hide.
Enough of distant Ducks. Onward to Tealham an Tadham moors. This is another area of wet meadowland which hosts a few breeding Lapwing and Redshank, though they're both decreasing fast! In the distance are the start of the Mendip Hills.
I did come across some Lapwings that weren't 1/2 a mile away, though they always seemed to be slightly behind a tuft of grass! (-:
It was lovely to stand and watch them do their crazy dancing flights with their wonderful pew-it calls.
After leaving the moors, I went on to Ham Wall RSPB reserve. Here I twitched the Pied-billed Grebe that had been reported there a few days previously. 
While there I managed a dodgy shot of a lovely male Marsh Harrier hunting over the reeds. (the Grebe was way too distant to try for a shot of that).
 My final stop of the day was at Westhay National Nature Reserve where the reserve is gradually being enlarged from old peat diggings.
I'll finish this post with two dodgy photos I'm afraid. One of a female Kestrel searching for food from a handy phone wire and a Redwing flitting along the hedgerow in front my of my car.
 I'll be off to Cornwall at the weekend for a few days birdingwith friends, so hopefully I'll be able to post about that when I get back later next week.


Roy Norris said...

Lovely scenic shots and the Tor in the distance.
If you are trying to make me homesick for the general area, then its working Jen.{:))

ShySongbird said...

Lovely views of your beautiful part of the country Jenny. You have so many wonderful birding places to visit there. Well done with the twitch and I hope you have a great time in Cornwall...I'm sure you will :-)

Jenny said...

Hi Roy, you and Mrs Roy will have to take a trip over here sometime! (-:

Hi Jan, I am lucky to have the Levels only about 40 minutes drive away. Thanks for the well wishes for Cornwall. (-:

Mary said...

Looks like a great birding day, to me! You saw a nice variety. I'd be happy to see much of anything at the moment. Our weather is dreary and cold and not fun for going outside for photos.

Pix at Under the Oaks said...

I'm late to comment here Jen! Enjoy your birding trip!! The Lapwings are gorgeous!

Jenny said...

Hi Mary, it was a lovely blue sky day. That was a few weeks ago, it's been similar to your weather since then.

Hi Pix, First day in Cornwall has been good, we birded on the way down through Devon first. I'll hope to have some bloggable pics..... (-:

Friend of HK said...

A great place for birding! I am on my way there and hopefully will bump into you one day!

Jenny said...

Hi friend of HK, yes it is a great place for birding and getting better and better. Enjoy it when you do get there! (-: