Friday, 11 September 2015

Spectacular Somerset

TODAY I took a day off and headed for the Levels, hoping to see an Osprey perhaps.  I visited Natural England's Shapwick Heath and two of the hides there.  A long but sociable wait in first hide provided generally distant views of hobbies, marsh harriers and the occasional great white egret.  A fly-by kingfisher and a squealing water rail were seemingly the only other highlights, but when the rail was shooed out of the reeds by a moorhen and gave us a great view.

Back to the car past the "scrape" provided sightings of b-t godwits, greenshank, lapwings and more egrets.

I then drove round to the other end of the reserve and found a couple of slow-worms in the usual place.  Then onto Canada Farm hide and I settled down for a long wait alone.  It was a blustery day which I thought may stifle my chances, but eventually one of the pair of kingfishers seen dashing around settled in front of the window.  Even in the somewhat overcast conditions the colours still shone out beautifully.

After a while I started to think about heading off, but then caught movement out of the corner of my eye and saw a grass snake swimming towards me from an island opposite; this is only the second time that I've seen such a thing.

It felt like a good day and that my luck was in, so I stayed put and the kingfisher returned.  I was then, finally ready to go, but waited just a little longer and there in front of the hide an otter appeared for a few seconds then dived and disappeared.

Speckled Wood

There was no further sightings so felt that maybe I had done quite well and it was time to head home!