After making the effort for the early morning start it was not a good idea to just go home, although the Starlings were amazing we thought we would have a wander for the morning and perhaps we could see some more wildlife. Elaine had seen a Whooper Swan at the far end of the reserve the previous day so we headed that way first. It was shortly after dawn when we got to the lookout screen and there he was in the middle of the water, a bird I had not seen before.The picture below shows the difference from a Mute Swan to the Whooper, the Whooper is slightly smaller and a different face/beak.
As always click a picture for a bigger view.
We stayed for over an hour, the Swans disappeared behind reeds for a while but there was a lone Great Crested Grebe fishing in front of the hide and we must have seen at least four different Marsh Harriers flying over, males and females, who came fairly close to the hide.
The Mute Swans reappeared with the Whooper and then they decided to take off and I was lucky enough to capture the Whooper taking off. We were so lucky to see him and it was only around 8.40am before we moved off!
We decided to make a slight detour to the Avalon Hide and of course keeping our eyes peeled for any birdlife as we walked along and there were plenty of small birds, although difficult to photograph as they hid in the trees, but Elaine, as the bird spotter, soon added to her list of birds. The Avalon hide was fairly quiet except for a variety of ducks we stayed for a short while and then headed back towards the car park.
As we were going out on to the main track a bird was heading in our direction, we suddenly realised it was a Bittern and I quickly attempted to take a photograph which I thought I missed, I was pleasantly surprised when I looked at the images on my computer.
On the way to the Avalon hide there had been a Kestrel about, but fairly distant on the way to the main track we spotted him in a bush, we managed to get quite close but unfortunately for me the light was making the bird a silhouette but again when I uploaded it to the computer I managed to recover the detail.
Select an image to see a bigger view and use the left and right arrows on the picture to browse the images.
By this time we were both getting hungry and thirsty and we got back to the carpark at around 11 o’clock. Elaine had logged 37 species, what a morning! Some special bird sightings. We decided that we weren’t quite finished and once refreshed we headed across the road to Shapwick Heath, which will be in my next post.