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Cheddar Reservoir and Gorge - Somerset Levels – Ham Wall ‘starling murmuration’

Dawn and I had a lovely day out on my birthday, we drove to Cheddar and walked around the entire perimeter (2.2 miles) of the Circular Reservoir before driving up into the Gorge. The weather was dull and overcast with some drizzle and a cold breeze.

We saw very little on the reservoir, I’ll qualify that, we saw hundreds of birds of few species. Common Coots covered most of the water with a few Common Pochard, Tufted Ducks, Eurasian Teal, Mute Swans and dozens of Great Crested Grebes.

Cheddar Village and the Gorge was crowded with tourists, we made a very short stop in the gorge and then found ourselves inside a warm Café where a free Mince Pie was served with the coffee, ‘yum, yum’  said I, ‘yuk’ said Dawn,

For lunch we went to our favourite pub on the ‘Levels’ which is the Swan in Wedmore, fantastic food and great service. Whilst we were there the weather took a massive turn for ther better, the sky cleared completely and the sun came out.

For the last part of the day we visited Ham Wall, to see the famous Starling Roost, along with 200 other people! The car park was full and Lane was beginning to fill too. Once in position we waited in anticipation and we were not disappointed. The ‘murmuration’ was fantastic clouds of starlings danced above us forming unimageable patterns and complex shapes. It is amazing how they never collide into one another, a Sparrowhawk and a Marsh Harrier had a lot to do with the kaleidoscopic patterns formed in the sky.

A Cobra made of Starlings?

As it got dark the starlings zoomed down into the reeds making a loud crescendo as each individual bird had something to say about where they wanted to sit for the night.