Sunday, 17 April 2016

Levels yields up its treasures

A cold wind and occasional sunshine characterized Saturday on the Levels in Somerset.  A long vigil for otters did not pay off, but I was more lucky on the bird side.

At Westhay SWT Reserve the summer warblers were hard at it, proclaiming their territory, along with the booming bitterns, under the shadow of a number of marsh harriers hunting the reed-beds.  I saw my first swift, house martins and later swallows of the year, with sand martins chattering above too.

Water rails screeched, but kept elusive, and the occasional pink-pink of bearded tits was almost as frustrating - until I caught one flash of orange dive into the reeds.

Ham Wall RSPB Reserve had some special visitors too - glossy ibis, yellow wagtails (4 - all the colour of canaries), a little-ringed plover, black tailed godwits (many in their summer plumage) and a short eared owl.

These beauties were all rather far away, but being able to view them through a borrowed Swarovski scope allowed me to get great views.  The photos are therefore very much record shots...:

Glossy ibis in the distance

Short-eared owl - very calm and relaxed
Glastonbury Tour seen from Avalon Marshes

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