Had a look at both Shapwick and Ham Wall today. It was a fairly quick whip round, so wasn’t able to thoroughly check the impressive numbers of wildfowl on Noah’s etc, but a nice variety.
Shapwick: Single Whooper seen a couple of times in the NE corner of Noah’s (viewable from the track north of the lake), also a GWE and excellent views of a hunting Bittern there (the latter just by the entrance track). Full list: https://ebird.org/checklist/S77841281.
Ham Wall: 10 GWE on Walton’s, including red-ringed AAC, and a Water Pipit from VP1 (in the NE corner of the scrape). Full list: https://ebird.org/checklist/S77841732
I then popped in at Burtle on the way back, where as reported by others, there were at least 18 Cattle Egret feeding in the field at ST426424, along with the Ruddy Shelduck and 3 Egyptian Geese, with a GWE in the water-logged Maize field to the south, by the road. Full list: https://ebird.org/checklist/S77841833
A funny old day… Shapwick this am, the 2 Whoopers still, and still elusive, plus an Egyptian Goose on the tin hut. Most of the Wigeon have decamped from Meare Heath to Noah’s.
On the flooded fields at Westhay NNR, a Redshank, at least I think it was. Not the best view and it flew off into the sun. If it’s not a Redshank, it must be a L Legs. Have seen neither at Westhay ever. Also a Peregrine over and a Green Sand on the roadside excavated pit.
From the Westhay/Burtle road, 3 more Egy Geese and the Ruddy Shelduck (as noted already by Frankie). Plenty of egrets about but I only checked a few, 2 Cattles were east of Westhay at least.
Second hand reports: SEOwl on Tealham this pm, and on Ham Wall recently, Jack Snipe, Water Pipit, Egy Geese and Ruddy Shelduck.
December 1 list so far 51 bird species, mostly between the Meare Heath tower hide and VP2. Highlights.
Meare Heath: very high numbers of Wigeon and Shoveler, one Great Crested Grebe, 1 Shelduck flew in and stayed for 10 minutes before leaving. Male Marsh Harrier.
Car park areas. Goldcrest, Chiff Chaff.
VP1: 2 Great white Egrets. Teal, Snipe. female Marsh Harrier.
railway line: Redpoll, Song Thrush. Little Grebes, Tufted Duck.
VP2 Lapwings, Black Tailed Godwit.
Later, Sharpham lane. Cattle Egrets, Canada and Greylag Geese.
My Westhay garden: Great Spotted Woodpecker, Pied Wagtail and the usual species.
Fantastic morning to be out and about locally.
Today and also on Friday afternoon 40 plus Cattle egret in the fields along the Blakeway
Very good news Andy. That is a month later than in recent years but I will be there tomorrow to try to find them.
2 ad Whoopers on Noah’s this morning, good to see them back
I was away for much of the autumn but have been going down to the Levels on the last few weekends. The main feature has been building duck numbers inc the fantastic Wigeon flock on Meare Heath scrape. Today, half were on Noah’s however…
Otherwise, Stonechats are now scattered around in very small numbers and a Grey Wag put in an appearance on Ham Wall today. Last weekend, a probable Merlin dashed north over Ham Wall car park but I just didn’t see enough to clinch it; one Blackwit was on Ham Wall.
Tufted Duck and Pochard numbers are oddly low. I wonder where they all are. No Whoopers, Goosander or Egyptian Geese either.
Seems that glossy ibis has dropped in at shapwick (& Kentish plover again at Burnham)
First of the month check on Ham Wall and Shapwick produced 49 species between 08.00 and 11.00. Notable ones were:
Swallow. 5 heading south over Meare Heath
Bearded Tit 2 on Meare Heath and 3 on Noah’s.
Bittern one on Noah’s.
Ruff 2, Blackwit 1 and Green Sand 4 all at VP2 along with a flock of Lapwings
Egyptian Goose 2 near the tin shed on Noah’s
Wigeon. 300+ on Meare Heath and many more on Noah’s plus several flocks coming down from high up so probably new arrivals.
Willow Warbler. One very yellowish bird near car park.
Goldcrest, several Jays collecting acorns, at least 4 Marsh Harriers and a Sparrowhawk.
1 ruff at VP2 late afternoon today.
Plenty of activity over Noahs Lake this morning 0940-11.00. One juv. Osprey (ringed), 3 Hobby, 5 Marsh Harriers, one Kingfisher, one Egyptian Goose, one Cattle Egret over, 2 GWE, increasing numbers of ducks including more than 100 Wigeon, a few Teal and Gadwall, GC Grebe, Coots etc. Very few passerines seen or heard between the car park and Noah’s.
The juv Osprey still using Noah’s this am. Also 2 Hobby and a Stonechat there.
On Ham Wall, a drake Garganey on the 2VP lagoon (west end for a change) and 1 Hobby.
1 Garganey on Noah’s this am (NW corner) and a Ruff was the best on 2VP lagoon. The Garganey must be a drake as it has one retained breeding plumage scapular. Single Hobbies on both sides.
A juv Osprey heading west over Ham Wall and 65 Wigeon on Meare Heath were this evening’s highlights. The Osprey was around 2VP earlier apparently and I saw it later in the evening on Noah’s.
Otherwise on 2VP lagoon were a single Ruff and just the usual suspects. 13 Snipe were visible. Again, no Garganey.
A quick visit only, early afternoon today, 2VP, which has all its excellent margins back!
2 Ruff, 1 Greenshank, 1 Blackwit, 4 Green Sand, 2 Snipe, 50 Lapwing, 4 Egy Geese, 2 Wigeon.