It rained most of the time I was out, the sky was a dull grey with very poor light but it did brighten up as the wind increased at lunchtime.........


I set off at 8am and arrived at RSPB Greylake at 8:40am the car park was empty except for a few Chaffinches and a number of both Blue and Great Tits that we using the large bird feeders. My walk to the main ‘Lookout’ Hide was wet, I saw a couple of Redwings fly over as I approached the sodden hide. It was empty, completely devoid of birders and when I looked out over the pools and flood-meadows I realised why – no birds!

                             the empty pools at GREYLAKE

Nevertheless I endured the solitude and enjoyed the tranquillity until a few birdies arrived and woke me up! I was dreaming of Spanish mountains, green forests and a blue sky, full or raptors when a Mallard delivered the quintessential and very loud “quack-quack” right in front of the hide!

Over the next hour I did see some nice species, Common Buzzard, Marsh Harrier, Peregrine Falcon, Northern Lapwing, Northern Shoveler, Eurasian Teal and not much else.

          An unsuspecting Common Buzzard about to be clipped by a Carrion Crow

Next I drove to Ham Wall, a huge South Somerset local Nature Reserve, covering …hectares and consisting of large reed beds, open pools, ditches, drains, canals, pastures, flood-meadows and woodland. I wasn’t going to walk around the whole area, not in the rain, so I went to the nearest hide which is found at Noah’s Lake. A few Fieldfares flew over, my first for this winter, a large flock of 60+ Northern Lapwings did the same and another Marsh Harrier drifted over the reeds.

                    despite the horrible weather your day can be illuminated by the appearance of a Red Admiral butterfly

I added Tufted Duck, Mute Swan, Eurasian Coot and Moorhen to my day list before I reach the elevated hide at Noah’s Lake. The lake was blessed with an ample supply of water and consequently was covered in birds, I mean thousands. What a lovely sight and a complete contrast to my earlier experience at Greylake.

             another splash of colour to brighten a dull day.

The majority of the birds on the lake were Eurasian Wigeon, but both Gadwall and Northern Shoveler were well represented with fewer Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Common Pochard, Northern Pintail and Great Crested Grebes.  A few Cormorants loafed around on dead sticks, a number of Black-headed, Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls sat on the water whilst over 50 Mute Swans stuck out like white beacons in the murky light.

                           NOAH'S LAKE - covered in birds

I returned to the car park having photographed very little and noted European Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Siskin, Robin, Wren and Dunnock along the way. I was due to meet a couple of friends, Richard and Craig in the car park around 12noon, it was now 12:30pm so I may have missed them. I waited another 30 minutes before I went home. The wind had picked up and the rain had stopped as I got into the car for the journey home, how I love November........not!