Ham Wall RSPB & Shapwick Heath 11th Jun 2022

Thirteen Club members headed down to this famous reserve in the Somerset Levels, on a nice sunny but sometimes a little blustery day. At the top of the list of target birds were Bittern, Marsh Harrier, Great White Egret, and Hobby. We weren’t disappointed. A good number of Bitterns were seen – all fly-bys and difficult to get a good photo of. Marsh Harriers and Great White Egrets were everywhere, the former never coming very close but great to watch as they quartered the vast expanses of reed, the smart adult males being particularly attractive. In the afternoon at the Shapwick Heath reserve we had nice views of two immature Marsh Harriers sitting atop a bush in the reeds. Inital sightings of Hobby were very distant from the first Ham Wall view point. Alan Rosney initially picked up a couple hunting quite high in the far distance, picked up in his ‘scope whilst scanning. In the afternoon at the Meare Heath hide in the Shapwick section we were eventually rewarded with a few excellent fly-bys low over the reeds in front of us. Warblers were represented by Reed, Garden [heard briefly], Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Cetti’s. The main wildfowl were Gadwall, all in eclipse plumage, but we did spot a single drake Pochard in flight, and several pairs of Great Crested Grebe had young ‘humbugs’. A Cuckoo was seen in flight and indeed heard. Insects provided additional interest with Red-eyed Damselflies in the Shapwick section, and an incredible number of dragonflies settling on reed stems in front of the Meare Heath hide – 20 or more 4-Spotted Chasers and Black-tailed Skimmers in one small area. A Wasp Beetle resting on the window of my vehicle in the car park, was very impressive. All in all a good day. John Wilson

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.