Saturday, 5 March 2011

Delight in the common

Inspite of years of wildlife watching, I still get enormous pleasure from seeing common species, especially when it is possible to get up close to them.

Today (Saturday 5th March) I decided to make my first ever visit to the RSPB's Swell Wood, an ancient woodland overlooking West Sedgemoor on the Somerset Levels.

View from Swell Wood over West Sedgemoor

The woodland runs along a steep escarpment and is home to a large heronry.  There were quite a few adult birds on nests, often with the partner bird standing nearby.

Herons at their nest in an oak tree

At the moment it is relatively quiet, as the chicks are yet to hatch - good thing too 'cos it was bitterly cold.

There was a very good summary of nest activity at the site, so I have plagiarised it:

In the car park there are a number of feeders and I sat in my car for ages using it as a hide...I was able to get quite close...


Coal tit

Blue tit

Dunnock and coal tit


Great tit

Blue tits

Coal tits



Great tit

Great spotted woodpecker

Marsh tit

Coal and great tit



Great spotted woodpecker 

Great tit and female chaffinch

Pair of nuthatches 

Nuthatch and Great tit

Great spotted woodpecker

On the way home, I stopped off at Greylake RSPB reserve - these wigeon took flight. The mass flocks of lapwing and ducks seen a few weeks ago have now gone.

During the afternoon I was also lucky enough to see 6+ of the released cranes in a very far off field.  They were being radio tracked and were kindly pointed out to me by the people recording their movements...otherwise I would never have spotted them.

There is an interesting map at Slimbridge WWT (as noted in a recent BBC article on their website) showing towns and villages that have crane association.  It goes to show how common they must have been, so its exciting to think that one day they may be thriving like little egrets are now.

 Places with Crane (or a derivation of crane) in their name

Burrow Mump, Somerset

1 comment:

  1. A nice selection of photographs - looks like it was well worth the visit!


Have your say...