A MORNING VISIT TO WEST MOOR NEAR MARTOCK, SOMERSET
WEATHER: very dull and overcast, light drizzle, humid. Temp 18C.
It was another very poor birding day because of the appalling weather conditions, I surprised myself by going out this morning. I left home at 7am and drove 11 miles to part of the Somerset moorlands near Martock. West Moor is essentially part of the ‘levels’, very flat and open, with ditches and clumps of woodland.
a typical track on West Moor, I walked up to and past the bushes in the distance
Just a month ago this place was brimming with bird life, Reed & Sedge Warblers, Skylarks, Yellow Wagtails, Reed Buntings, Lapwings and Marsh Harriers. Today I saw absolutely none of those!! It was pretty much devoid of birds, wet and miserable too! I was hoping for some of the summer migrants to still be around but no!!
Three Little Egrets
What I did see was 2 Common Buzzards, a hunting Sparrowhawk, 4 Little Egrets, 4 Mute Swans, 2 Grey Herons and lots of corvids, along the approach track and before you get onto the moor I saw Blue Tit, Great Tit, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Magpie, Common Starling and House Sparrow. I also heard a Willow Warbler calling and a distant Jay.
Mute Swan with head and neck stains from the peaty water
I really was hoping to see a passing migrant such as a Whinchat but all I found in the migrant department was a single Northern Wheatear. I spent 2 hours out there and walked just 3 miles. I was back at home by 10am.