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Somerset Birding

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Old Monday 8th June 2009, 00:28   #51
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Little Bittern showing very well, when not being mobile and elusive, and singing frequently [a very handy aid to keeping track of it!] at RSPB Ham Wall.
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Old Tuesday 30th June 2009, 21:02   #52
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I'm just back home from a couple of weeks' holiday in SW England (Cotswolds and Cornwall). Not much birding was done but we did have an hour and a half's walk at Shapwick Heath en route between the two bits of the holiday.

I was really very impressed and can't believe there seem to be so few people posting from Somerset on birdforum. The scale of the wetlands is something else and the birds certainly compare well with some of the better known East Anglian wetlands that I've visited. Just walking 1km along the main path from the car park, I saw a female Marsh Harrier, Little Egret, no less than three Bittern flyovers, a Hobby and heard about eight Cetti's Warblers, one of which flew across the track in front of me. Not to mention plenty of Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and Reed Warblers, all species that are scarce here in the frozen north. And I didn't even see the Little Bittern, Purple Heron or Great Egrets that have been in the area recently - it wouldn't surprise me if one or more of these species started breeding here in the not too distant future. Well worth a visit and I hope I'll be able to make a more leisurely visit in the future.
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Old Sunday 5th July 2009, 10:07   #53
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I can really recommend the Somerset Levels to everyone who might be visiting during the Summer months, I was there all day yesterday. The sights and sounds are something else.

Just a brief note of my sightings for the day included an early morning hunting Barn Owl, three Buzzards, a Male and Female Marsh Harrier, 9 singing Cettis Warblers with three being seen, Reed and Sedge Warblers everywere, various Ducks and Great-crested and Little Grebe with young, and other wildlife included an Otter, various Dragonflies and Chasers, plus hundreds of Damselflies and various Butterflies including a glorious White Admiral. Plus not forgetting the Marsh Frogs.
The reserves are real gems.
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Old Saturday 18th July 2009, 20:46   #54
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The Great White Egret is stil present on the Meare Heath Lagoon, Shapwick Heath, though Distant. And the Little Bittern can still be heard at the RSPB Reserve Ham Wall.
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Old Thursday 27th August 2009, 17:32   #55
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Surprised nobody has mentioned the Spotted Crake at Greylake.
Been there for 3 or 4 days now and is showing well.
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Old Thursday 27th August 2009, 18:44   #56
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Two Wood Sandpipers this afternoon at the far end of Durleigh Reservoir. Roger
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Old Thursday 27th August 2009, 20:12   #57
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Good point.

Anyone interested in Somerset Bird Sightings should bookmark this sight.
http://pub13.bravenet.com/forum/stat...mid=14&msgid=0

Lots of good birds at Shapwick Heath over the last week. Up to 7 Black Terns, Osprey's Ringed Plovers and Green Sands...
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Old Thursday 27th August 2009, 20:54   #58
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Excellent. Might spend the day at Greylake this Saturday photographing this Crake.
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Old Thursday 3rd September 2009, 06:49   #59
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-Osprey showing well from Noahs Hide at Shapwick, Common Tern as well.
Also Ruff,Snipe Ringed Plover and BT Godwits amongst the Lapwing on the Shallow Lagoon as you walk down from Ashcott corner carpark.
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Old Thursday 10th September 2009, 21:39   #60
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we are thinking of spending a few days in Somerset this November with plenty of time for birding - can anybody recommend where we should go? or even better stay?
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Old Tuesday 6th October 2009, 02:41   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexander74 View Post
we are thinking of spending a few days in Somerset this November with plenty of time for birding - can anybody recommend where we should go? or even better stay?
Hi Alexander

The Somerset Levels and the Bridgwater Bay National Nature Reserve have to be among the top attractions in the county, in my opinion. If you're planning to be around in November then the starlings at Westhay should be on your list too - see this pdf if your not familiar with them: http://www.somersetwildlife.org/pdf%...ling_08_09.pdf

Last edited by flightpath : Tuesday 6th October 2009 at 02:50. Reason: add pdf for Westhay starlings
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Old Wednesday 7th October 2009, 19:11   #62
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Alexander,

Chew Valley lake nr Bristol is always worth an hour or two, good numbers of winter visitors starting to turn up now and it's had a few surprises turn up lately.

check out www.cvlbirding.co.uk for the latest updates. You can get a day permit for the hides, there are details on this site of where to get them.
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Old Thursday 8th October 2009, 00:18   #63
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Most Somerset birders probably just haven't twigged that this forum is here - I hadn't until very recently. For lots of info on Somerset birding, including a sightings messageboard, site info etc, plus links to other sites maintained by local birders, try www.somersetbirds.net

The Avalon Marshes complex is a brilliant set of wetland reserves - Shapwick Heath (including Meare Heath) NNR, Ham Wall RSPB, Catcott Lows SWT, and Westhay Moor SWT/NNR - and now there's Greylake RSPB reserve too. It's easy to get a bit blase about what's on your doorstep, but the very kind comments from visiting birders this summer, especially when the Little Bittern was around, were a timely reminder. The recent colonisation by such birds as Bittern and Bearded Tit, to mention just two, are the just reward for all the time and effort the various wardens and volunteers have put in over the years to create and maintain these reserves out of old peat diggings.

Add in Exmoor for upland birds (and the Quantocks and Mendip too) plus a variety of coastal habitats, and there's interest year-round, though it'll never compete with some other counties in rarity terms (rare passerines in particular are rare indeed). Good fun to bird, though.
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Old Thursday 8th October 2009, 19:23   #64
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A very neglected forum I must admit, it would be nice (personally) if we could get this one up and running a bit more regularly. I know there are lots of sites covering the local area (a few mentioned here) but it would be nice to share here too. I'm Bristol based and love water birds so Chew, Blagdon, Cheddar and Barrow are my local patch with the odd excursion to the Severn estuary.

Just a thought...
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Old Friday 9th October 2009, 06:42   #65
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I too would like to see more postings for Somerset.
But how do we define the area to be covered?
Since they did away with Avon my Somerset birding covers Somerset, North Somerset and Bath and Northeast Somerset (BANES).
Do we include all three?
I would personally hope so.
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Old Friday 9th October 2009, 11:38   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger View Post
I too would like to see more postings for Somerset.
But how do we define the area to be covered?
Since they did away with Avon my Somerset birding covers Somerset, North Somerset and Bath and Northeast Somerset (BANES).
Do we include all three?
I would personally hope so.
How about using the Avon and Somerset police boundary?

A question from me - can anyone point me on the direction of a good location for watching and photographing waders on the coast around here. Somewhere which is kind of quiet without too many passers by or dog walkers and of course somewhere with a decent amount of birds.

I've tried Severn Beach and Clevedon but wondered if there was anywhere else anyone can recommend.

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Old Friday 9th October 2009, 15:39   #67
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How about using the Avon and Somerset police boundary?

A question from me - can anyone point me on the direction of a good location for watching and photographing waders on the coast around here. Somewhere which is kind of quiet without too many passers by or dog walkers and of course somewhere with a decent amount of birds.

I've tried Severn Beach and Clevedon but wondered if there was anywhere else anyone can recommend.

Chalky
You could try the Axe Estuary at Uphill out of holiday season ( Not this weekend as they are staging the enduro at Weston)
Sand bay,Burnham, Berrow and Brean Down offer possibilities.
Inland, Chew Lakes,Blagdon and Shapwick are good places.
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Old Saturday 10th October 2009, 07:45   #68
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Anywhere round Bridgwater Bay is likely to be good, but it is a big area, and therefore it's easy to miss the birds. Depending on where you're starting from, you could try Steart (on the west side) or the Huntspill.
Even Hinkley Point can be pretty good (and sometimes has good gulls too).
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Old Monday 12th October 2009, 20:21   #69
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thanks for the tips - will let you know how we get on.
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Old Wednesday 28th October 2009, 15:18   #70
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Hi all,
I'm coming down to Somerset on Friday, are the Cattle Egrets still at Meare Heath?
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Old Wednesday 28th October 2009, 16:27   #71
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Not been reported today although they can be a little tricky to pin down at the moment. Keep an eye on:
http://pub13.bravenet.com/forum/stat...mid=14&msgid=0
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Old Wednesday 28th October 2009, 16:32   #72
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Thanks very much PABz
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Old Thursday 29th October 2009, 09:08   #73
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Josh,

still worth the trip though as lots of good stuff at the various somerset reserves as Pabz link will confirm. Hope you enjoy your visit.
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Old Thursday 29th October 2009, 15:52   #74
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Is the Furruginous Duck at Chew Valley Lake considered an escape of genuine wild bird?
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Old Thursday 29th October 2009, 20:14   #75
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Is the Furruginous Duck at Chew Valley Lake considered an escape of genuine wild bird?
Cheers
This isn't a definetive answer Josh but I've never heard of it being considered an escapee. It's usually hanging around at some distance but you might get lucky, there's a couple of photos in my gallery of my 'close encounters', check here for the latest Chew updates which give its whereabouts if its been seen. Be aware that you'll need a permit for the hides, details on the website.

www.cvlbirding.co.uk

Chalky

Edit: I forgot to say that there's a Ring Necked Duck at nearby Blagdon Lake at the moment, the chew permit also gives access to Blagdon.

Last edited by Chalky W : Thursday 29th October 2009 at 21:19.
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