Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Late August

The end of summer is generally regarded as one of the worst times of year for birding in Somerset, breeding birds are lying low and have even started to migrate South, wintering birds have yet to arrive, and we're not exactly in the best spot (geographically speaking) to score much in the way of passage migrant rares/scarce. Fortunately, our 'birding benchmark' is so high, that even at the quieter times of year, there's still plenty to see, and i've had a couple of brilliant days guiding this week, here's a few highlights of the things that stuck around long enough to photograph:

A family party of Bearded Tits were the first birds we clapped eyes on at Shapwick this morning, they sat up and even gave superb scope views before 'pinging' off over the reeds
Bearded Tits
There are still a few Hobby about, this one at Westhay this afternoon, and the few locally bred youngsters should be seen around now, fresh from the nest
Hobby
 Swifts are leaving the country en-masse at the moment, so enjoy every one you see, you may not get another until next May!
Swift
We do get a few grounded passage migrants, this Wheatear at Steart WWT last weekend
Wheatear
 And 3 Whinchats showing nicely from the hide at Catcott this afternoon
Whinchat
 Post-breeding Great White Egrets all over the place, saw at least 7 in less than an hour this morning!
Great White Egrets

And of course, a bird that has become a welcome annual visitor, a magnificent Osprey breaking up its migration with a few days on Noah's lake.
Osprey

We're back off to the Southern Levels and the coast again tomorrow, so hopefully will have more great sightings to report!!

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