Monday 26 February
A weekend down at Sand Bay near Weston-super-Mare but a mixture of bad weather plus a very painful leg meant no chance of any birding. However, with the leg feeling much better today the return journey with Jenny and son John and his wife, Kim took a somewhat diverted route to enable a very brief visit to RSPB Greylake followed by a longer stop at RSPB Hamwall on the Somerset Levels where Kim and I walked as far as the first Viewpoint and neighbouring screens to check out the bird life before continuing on back to Devizes, then home here in Warsash.
|Mainly Wigeon Anas penelope at RSPB Greylake
Arriving at Greylake we had large flock of Rooks in the filed almost opposite the entry long with scores of Starlings on the wires. All was very wet following the heavy, continuous rain of the previous day. A Carrion Crow was passing overhead s we set of to the two hides and a lone Mute Swan resting on the grass to our right. Once inside the hides scores of ducks, compared with the many hundreds at the start of the month, consisting of mainly Wigeon but also a good supply of Shoveler and a few Teal. Indeed, a single Pintail and a couple of Mallards were also noted along with a handful of Lapwing.
|Pintail Anas acuta (top) with Shoveler Anas clypeata, Lapwing Vanellus vanellus and Teal Anas crecca
The walk back to the car resulted in at least three Cetti's Warblers and then on the short journey over to RSPB Hanwall a Kestrel crossed the road in front of us.
Once at Hamwall we noted the Blue and Great Tits along with a few Chaffinches making use of the feeding station and a couple of Blackbirds were skirting the area. A number of calling Cetti's Warblers as made our way up to the main track, having first stopped to admire the Robin that appeared in front of us and refused to depart until we had taken its photograph, and on to the first View Point and its neighbouring hide screens giving view over the respective waters. However, first a stop to admire the Great White Egret that landed close to the reeds in front of us where it joined smaller Little Egret.
|Robin Erithacus rubecula
The main water to our left held a number of Wigeon along with a few Coot and moving across the track the water produced many Shoveler along with Coots, Teal, Gadwall and Mallard plus more Wigeon. A single Great Crested Grebe to the right and a resting Cormorant and a few Tufted Duck plus a Mute Swan to our left. From here we also had a good view of the distant Glastonbury Tor albeit not the best of light.
|Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristata
As we de our way back to the nearby track and return to the car park a distant Marsh Harrier in front of us followed by a passing pair of Carrion Crows. A Magpie in the trees as we approached our destination then a stop to watch the little Firecrest busy searching the dense bush for a little food and very difficult to get a clear photograph as it refused to fully expose itself on the outside of said bush.
|Spot the little Firecrest Regulus ignicapilla on the bush
Only a relatively short stop at both sites but certainly lovely to see both the Great White Egret and Firecrest.
|Great White Egret Egretta alba
Mute Swan, Gadwall, Wigeon, Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Pintail, Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Great White Egret, Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Coot, Lapwing, Robin, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Firecrest, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Magpie, Rook, Carrion Crow, Starling, Chaffinch.
|Great Tit Parus major
|Shoveler Anas clypeata
|Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula (female and male)
|Distant Glastonbury Tor
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