Sunday, 27 January 2013

After the floods

THE Somerset Levels are still wintery, but the snow has faded and the floods have drained away...for now.

A cold, but sunny, Saturday provided an opportunity for some birding.  It was wonderful to see some colour again, replacing the snow covered landscape, and on the way there were some lovely rural views.

The highlights of the morning were a 50 strong flock of redshank, a marsh harrier, a small flock of pure white little egrets, 100s of winter thrushes and 1000s of lapwings, and the good thing is that these were spotted in open countryside rather than on a nature reserve.  The lapwings seemed to be quite restless moving around in great drifts.

The reserves also provided 3 great white egrets, lots of the usual winter ducks, a whooper swan and a pair of very far off black necked grebes.

View from Noah's hide on Shapwick Heath
As we were in the area in the afternoon, it seemed a shame not to watch the starling murmuration - however the starlings were not up for it and although there were the usual numbers they headed off to a new location and willfully ignored the RSPB wildlife warden.  

The massive flocks were still wonderful to see and hearing the swoosh of wings is quite amazing, as they flew over and around, and headed off into the distance.

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