Saturday, 31 March 2012

Snakes and birds

LOTS of lovely birds on the Somerset Levels today - marsh harriers, black-tailed godwits, 3 ruffs, dozens of sand martins, booming bitterns, squealing water-rails, as well as singing chiff-chaffs, a reed (or sedge?) warbler and blackcaps, plus - as a special bonus - several prancing grebes.  

But the stellar bird stars of the day were the two long-billed dowitchers.  This brings Steve's year count to around 109-ish...and these were lifers for both of us.

Here are the grebes - at the limit of my camera...

As spring is here we thought that it might be worth hunting out the snakes - and we were not disappointed.  This smallish male adder was curled up on a heap of dried grass; a reddish coloured female was also curled up on the ground near by, in a location favoured by the female.


Cool weather- cool day.


  1. Nice to see the grebes dancing; Long Billed Dowitcher, fantastic!

  2. Hi Peter,

    A good post as always but I am rather surprised to hear of the Reed Warblers being in already. Around our way, in general, we have to wait until late April.

    Whatever, keep the fascinating posts coming?

    Best Wishes

    Tony Powell

    1. I know that it was definitely either a reed warbler ...or a sedge warbler...singing! I expect that you might be surprised at the swift reported at Portland Bill on 29th March then too!

  3. Yes, the bird reporting services have come up with a few surprises in recent days, although, this is not exceptional given some of the past events. Sedge or Reed it is one for the list and I have at last added Willow Warbler to my list for the year. Even a few Pied Flycatchers and Redstarts are turning by now. I hope that today (9th April) will be most productive for some folk. At last, the southwesterly winds have returned albeit for only a day or two.
    Best Wishes

    Tony Powell


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