No sign of the 2 Black-winged Stilts today; ether this morning, or this afternoon up to 16:45 when I left.
2 different male Marsh Harriers seen, one carrying prey towards Shapwick Heath; at least 8 Cattle Egrets, a drake Garganey and 14 Blk-t Godwits.
Both Black-winged Stilts still present up to at least 13:10 when I left there. Also at least 9 Cattle Egrets among the distant cattle, a single Snipe, and a male Marsh Harrier which did a big circuit around the reserve.
The stilts, from distant views, appear to be a male (black back)and a female (brown back)
Per BTO Guide 17: ID and aging of Holarctic Waders. B-w Stilt adult summer:
Male = Back black; crown & nape a guide, usually black or white.
Fem = Back brown, contrasting with black coverts; crown & nape usually with dusky tips to white feathers. (NB: all colour patterns of crown & nape occur in both sexes).
Thanks chaps, I only glimpsed the blue ring as I scoped them flying off, good to have that confirmed.
Following on from the previous posts I was in the hide between 07:00 to 11:00.It was an amazing 4 hours.
-1 Barn owl showed 3 times seen left from the hide showing for a few minutes each time..
- 1 Great White Egret
- Both BW Stilts showing well, they were put up 3 times by Lapwings. On one occasion chased by the lapwings doing a circle around the three islands in front of the hide but settling at the back left again. 1 had black wings the 2nd one appeared to have dark brown wings.
-2 Marsh Harriers passed by on the right.
- 2 Black Tailed Godwits
-2 Little Egrets
-1 Grey Heron Fly-by
-7 Cattle Egret, 3 with the cows and 4 eventually flew off to the right.
- 4 Cranes landed far out at around 10:00 ish, hanged around for 10 minutes and then flew off high to the left. 3 Together and 1 separate. I checked my photo’s (Certain that the first 3 had no tags/rings/transmitters. I cannot confirm if the trailing Crane had a blue tag on or not as I was in the hide and could get low enough to see through the window. Bill and Jan sitting near me got much better photos.
- 1 Yellow Wagtail (Heard but not seen) also 1 Pied Wagtail
- The Garganey was seen clearly but distant at 10:45 by the Gentleman using the scope sitting to the left of me. I could only see it’s head through my bins
Some photo’s of the Stilts
Hello Andy , i Tweeted that at least one of the four Common Cranes that dropped in to Catcott Lows this morning was wearing a Blue ring.. I took several photo as they flew off . It was when i looked at the pics at home on my computer I could see just the blue ring on one bird. Looks like they were a party from just down the road from the Crane re-introduction programme.
One of the best bin-fulls I’ve had in Somerset I think - the 2 Stilts, several Cattle Egrets and 4 Cranes flying in to land just behind midmorning. Couldn’t find the Garganey but a few Blackwits, Little Egrets and some of the other usual suspects also on show. No GWEgret! But utterly fab.
Pretty sure one of the Cranes had a blue ring but would be good to hear if others definitely saw this (have seen a tweet along these lines). They flew off SW after 20 mins or so.
Both Stilts present and easy to see at 10.30. Plenty of Cattle Egrets coming and going. One probable fly over Yellow Wagtail.
Both Black-winged Stilts still present at Catcott Lows 6.15am with 2 Black Tailed Godwits and 1 Gt White Egret.
Two Black-winged Stilts at Catcott Lows this morning, were still present at 13:15 when we left there, also at least 8 Cattle Egrets. The stilts had been reported very early this morning flying West over Ham Wall.