Saturday, 25 February 2012

Bitterns, owls and harriers

A fantastic day out yesterday on the wonderful Somerset Levels (even if it was very overcast and a bit on the cool side).  The haul was as follows:
  • Bittern (x2)
  • Marsh harrier
  • Short-eared owl
  • Peregrine falcon
  • Water rail
  • Pair of goosanders
  • Great White egret
  • Teal, wigeon, pintail, gadwall, G-C Grebe, lapwing, little egrets
  • Lots of small birds.
The light was poor and the birds were usually too far away for photos, but I recorded them anyway.  The bittern and short-eared owl flew right over head, but I only had my camera ready for the former.

I decided to make a long awaited return visit to Westhay.   This is now one of the quieter reserves in the area, and I hoped that I might just see an otter.  This was not to be, but the species count was exciting anyway.

The day started off with a plopping sound in a rhyne as some frogs hid in the water.  The spawn giving away their location:

Frog spawn
Male goosander
Bird sculpture
Marsh harrier and scared ducks
Short-eared owl

The day was characterised by a lot of patient waiting.  Some friendly fellow birders and I waited for the owl to reappear - it didn't.

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