Taw Torridge Trip to Somerset Levels

Fourteen of us gathered at Greylake RSPB reserve on Wednesday 19 November, where we were joined by four members from South and East Devon.

Approaching the reserve we spotted Redwing flying over and good numbers of Lapwing and Golden Plover in the wet pastures by the side of the road.  Settling down in the hide with our flasks of coffee, we watched dabbling ducks feeding in the flashes, Fieldfare feeding in the distant hedgerows, a small group of Roe Deer on the marsh and three Peregrines preening on posts.

We then headed to Ashcott Corner and Shapwick Heath.  On the walk to the hides, some of the group had Water Rail, Great Crested Grebe and a brief view of a Bittern.

The high point over lunch in Meare hide was a female Marsh Harrier hunting over the reeds, with the sun catching her golden head, it was a beautiful sight.

On to Noah hide just in time to shelter from a very heavy shower; from here we had good views of Great White Egret as well as a lone Snipe, Kingfisher andvarious duck including Shoveler, Pochard, Gadwall and Tufted.

Heading to the viewing platform at Ham Wall, another glimpse of Bittern and good views of Great White Egret. Then at dusk the wonderful sight of thousands of Starling flying in from all directions and swirling across the sky in ever changing patterns before descending to roost, made a lovely ending to the day.

Bird species seen 49.

Maria Fernandes