Rod and I usually stay at home holidays and weekends and venture out during the week when most people are at work or school, but Rod’s niece, Elaine contacted us and asked if we would like to meet her at RSPB Ham Wall on Boxing Day, we thought why not and if it was too busy we could always move on. The weather wasn’t too special on the morning, foggy and wet at home but the forecast looked promising so we decided that we would go for it. It turned out to be the best day so far, some light cloud and sun, no rain once we got there and warm, good conditions.

Getting there around 10am it was fairly quiet so we set off along the old railway track, there were plenty of small birds in the bushes before we reached the first viewing platform. What we saw there was a pointer to how our day was going to be. There were Lapwings covering all the land in between the water, it’s been said that there are around 1000 there at the present time, all busy chattering or suddenly taking off and flying around.

Lapwings
Lapwings

A Great White Egret flew in as we were watching the Lapwings, great to watch this bird landing.
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Great White Egret
Great White Egret

There were plenty of other birds as well such as Stonechats and Reed Buntings and various ducks. We headed up the track to the next platform spotting birds as we went. We crossed the Rhyne and made our way back towards the Avalon Hide it was along this path that Elaine spotted a pair of Water Rails, very shy birds they were a little distant but we were able to watch them without disturbing them, a highlight for us!

Water Rail
Water Rail

We went to the Avalon Hide and it was empty, so we had plenty of viewing area and what a special time we had we saw four Marsh Harriers, two landed close to each other just across the lake from the hide and there were a couple flying around and they were in and out of the reeds, the Crows were bothering them but they didn’t seem worried about them.

Marsh Harrier
Marsh Harrier

We spent sometime in the hide enjoying watching the Marsh Harriers and other birds but it was around lunchtime by then so we went back to the camper van and enjoyed our sandwiches and a cup of tea. 

We went out again for a little while in the afternoon, this time going to the Tor hide, there were a few more people about but once we were off the main track it was fairly quiet. We spent a little time in the hide but there was not so much about, a Great Crested Grebe, Coots and a Moorhen and soon the light was starting to go so we headed back to the car park very happy.  We had a really great day, so many birds as you will see in my images and Elaines list! It was even busier as we were leaving as  people turned up to see the Starlings murmuration. We decided to go home before dusk promising to come back to see the Starlings at a quieter time.

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List of Birds identified on 27/12/21

1. Black-headed Gull
2. Blackbird
3. Blue Tit
4. Canada Goose
5. Carrion Crow
6. Cetti’s Warbler
7. Coot
8. Cormorant
9. Dunnock
10. Gadwall
11. Goldfinch
12. Great Crested Grebe
13. Great Spotted Woodpecker
14. Great Tit
15. Great White Egret
16. Grey Heron
17. Lapwing
18. Little Egret
19. Long-tailed Tit
20. Magpie
21. Mallard
22. Marsh Harrier
23. Moorhen
24. Mute Swan
25. Pied/White Wagtail
26. Reed Bunting
27. Robin
28. Shoveler
29. Siskin
30. Song Thrush
31. Starling
32. Stonechat
33. Teal
34. Tufted Duck
35. Water Rail
36. Wigeon
37. Woodpigeon
38. Wren

4 thoughts on “RSPB Ham Wall

  1. What a fantastic “haul”, Marilyn. It’s years since I’ve seen a water rail and you saw two! It’s a pity Ham Wall is so far, I must say that every time I have made the visit it has been well worth it though, well done.

  2. Yes we were very lucky with our sightings, thank you! We have a good route to Ham Wall now it takes about 1hr10mins but we wish it was closer. We have a camper van and stay on the Levels sometimes for a couple of nights and that is great.

  3. Brilliant pictures Marilyn and they capture a very good day. The highlight for me was seeing the Water Rails having never seen them before but also really like the Great White Egret images. Cannot wait for our next trip.

  4. Thanks Elaine it was a special day and yes the Water Rails were a bonus. Yes looking forward to another trip!

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