Habitat: Damp/wet grazing marsh, shallow pools, open freshwater, reedbed
ST399346, TA7 9BP
Greylake RSPB reserve is a relatively new addition to the Somerset birding circuit. An already promising area of wet grazing marsh just north of King’s Sedgemoor Drain has been developed and improved, including the installation of a fox-proof fence it, and in summer it is now a stronghold for breeding waders, including Lapwing, Curlew, Redshank, and Snipe, and also for Yellow Wagtails. In winter it is a haven for thousands of wildfowl and waders – Wigeon and Teal are the most numerous, but Pintail, Gadwall and Shoveler are all usually present too. Lapwing and Golden Plover flocks frequently number several hundred, often in the fields opposite the car park, while the area is one of the more reliable local winter sites for Ruff, and Snipe often show very well from the hides. Bitterns and Marsh Harriers are now regular, as are Reed and Sedge Warblers. Reed Buntings often give particularly good views at the feeding stations in the car park, which have also occasionally attracted winter Bramblings. Garganey and Little Ringed Plover are regular in spring, and occasionally a Spotted Crake is seen, usually in early autumn.
It is one of the best sites in the county for winter raptors: Peregrine, Merlin, and Hen Harrier are all regular, while Short-eared Owls visit periodically. Great White Egret has also been seen increasingly frequently in recent years, and winter rarities have included Green-winged Teal, Crane, and Long-billed Dowitcher.
The reserve car park (signposted) is directly off the A361 Taunton–Glastonbury road, approximately 2 miles north-east of Othery and just north of Greylake Bridge and sluice.
Open all year round, free of charge. Very flat terrain. The new Reedbed Loop is on grass tracks and not suitable for wheelchair users or those with stability issues, but the main route to and from the wheelchair-friendly hides is on gravel paths or wooden boardwalks and via easy-to-open gates.
About the Site