Weather: mostly clear and sunny, top temp 10C, dry all day.

This was a fantastic day out with gorgeous weather, superb light and a nice range of species. I left home at 8am just as it got light and spent 40 minutes in the car before arriving at Ham Wall, it was cloudy to start with but as the morning progressed the sky cleared completely.

Glastonbury Tor

The main track at Ham Wall is, in fact, an old railway track which is raised and provides excellent views over the marshes, pools and tree-lined droves. I soon listed a number of species in the shrubs and trees, Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tit, Goldcrest, Reed Bunting, Robin, Dunnock and Blackbird.

Ham Wall marsh and pool

In the pools all the common duck species were present in good numbers, Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler, Mallard, Gadwall, Tufted Duck and Common Pochard, they were joined by Pintail, Great Cormorant, Great Crested and Little Grebe, Moorhen, Coot, Mute Swan and Common Snipe.

Reed Bunting

I walked to the 'new' Avalon Hide where I added Great Egret, Canada Goose and two top birds, Eurasian Bittern and Water Rail.

Eurasian Bittern

Water Rail

After an enjoyable hour in the hide I walked further along the main track to Loxton's Marsh where I sat in Noah's Hide. I added Greylag Goose, Little Egret, Common Buzzard, Marsh Harrier, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Kingfisher, Common Stonechat, Eurasian Chiffchaff and I saw another 30 Long-tailed Tits in 3 more flocks.

5 Great Egrets with 9 Grey Herons

More Great Egrets were seen with a number of Grey Herons, it is amazing that Great Egret numbers in the UK have exploded in recent years. A fantastic count of 31 was seen recently at the Ham Wall roost.

can't believe a Peacock Butterfly was on the wing today

Back at the car park a pair of Ravens flew over, a Great Spotted Woodpecker perched nearby and 3 finches fed nearby, Chaffinch, Greenfinch and Goldfinch.


Next I walked to Noah's Lake on Meare Heath, along the way I searched for a Firecrest which had been seen earlier, it never showed.

Noah's Lake was covered in birds but only a single juvenile Whooper Swan was new for my day list, the light was superb and ideal for photography.


Eurasian Wigeon

Tufted Duck

I returned to the car park for a second time to find out that a Yellow-browed Warbler had been seen close by, however my search turned up nothing.

I travelled to Westhay Moor to look for Cattle Egrets but only found Pied Wagtails, Redwings, Fieldfares, Lapwings and a Song Thrush.

From there I visited Tealham Moor another superb section of the 'levels' where I saw many species, nothing new except Common Gulls, Common Pheasant and Rooks.

The last hour of the day was a classic winter sunset, the colours were simply stunning. I drove back to Ham Wall to watch the Starling roost and whilst their numbers were around I million birds they never performed as they are supposed to. Nevertheless, it was spectacular and fitting end to a beautiful day.




Starlings - quite a few!