Saturday 30 September – Steart WWT Leader: Richard Belson

Eight members assembled at the WWT car park. We quickly made our way over to the River Parrett and en route heard Water Rail and Cetti’s Warblers, and enjoyed views of Reed Bunting and Stonechat plus a perched Kestrel. Waders on the edges of the river were in relatively low numbers and distant but Black-tailed Godwit and Curlew were seen as well as a perched Marsh Harrier and a pair of ‘formation hovering’ Kestrels. Next stop was the Quantocks Hide with its view over several shallow pools. In between searching for waders, we identified Meadow Pipits (in their buff autumnal plumage) and Pied Wagtails with a few White Wagtails amongst them. Four Wheatears were seen in the grass edges to the pools with Linnets and Goldfinches adding colour to the scene. As the waders were quite distant, it took some time to identify them with confidence – 30+ lapwings, four Ruff, a Green Sandpiper, single Ringed and Golden Plovers and a long-necked, heavily streaked wader delicately poking its long bill into the mud which another birder later suggested was a juvenile Greenshank. Teal and Gadwall were amongst the Mallards. Two distant white blobs were identified as (very sleepy) Spoonbills. The breach, at the end of the peninsula, was relatively quiet although Little Egrets were numerous here. Birds seen included a fly-over Spoonbill, two Ravens, a Kestrel, two Marsh Harriers and a Sparrowhawk plus our first geese (Canada and Greylag). 47 species seen during the day. (Thanks to Richard for leading and to Alan Daniells for compiling the bird list) Peter Bryant