Sunday, 31 January 2016

Territorial swams

The level of aggression of the mute swans on the Somerset Levels lakes yesterday suggested that spring might be in their minds...

Long-tailed tits were frequently seen in family flocks

Friday, 8 January 2016

Slow start but ended in a spectacle on the Levels

I HAD a day off today and went out on the Levels to try to spot an otter - just dipped out on the otter (only saw the ripples), but enjoyed marsh harriers, gw egrets, thousands of starlings and meeting new people - nice to meet you Mark M. and Phil, in particular.  Hope that we have a new convert in you Mark!

Great White Egret

Sparrowhawk on Catcott Lows

There was an astounding number of starlings, as hoped, and the evening was pretty perfect being calm, clear and sunny.  Noone was quite sure where the birds would settle and we chased around a bit trying to stay ahead of them.  They flew in endlessly, spread out across the sky in huge streams - silhouetted against the sunset.

Initially the flocks assembled into two main groups at the Canada Farm end of Shapwick Heath, flying over our heads in great, spine tingling whooshes, occasionally harassed by a sparrow hawk.

Later, as dusk fell, the two groups joined up, with the northern flock streaming over the main track and canal, to join the southern flock.  Their reflection in the perfectly still water was stunning and as the light faded it was easier to see their reflections than the actual birds against the darkening sky.  Eventually they all settled down into a chattering mass and everyone drifted off home.  A great experience.

A great day and excellent company.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Happy New Year for 2016

WISHING you all a very Happy New Year - especially those who have been kind enough to follow this blog.

Here's my favorite photo from 2015: