Sunday 01 December – Steart WWT Leader: Richard Belson

15 members set off from the car park on a cold and breezy day, having already listed Kestrel, Raven, Stonechat, Redwing, Fieldfare, Starlings, Pied Wagtail, Marsh Harrier and a large flock of distant Lapwing. On our way to the Mendip hide we saw Blackbird, Chaffinch, Mute Swan, Wren, Herring Gull and Reed Bunting. The water level in the scrapes seen from the hide was very low and most of what we saw was distant, including Shelduck, Marsh Harrier, Crow, Redshank, Meadow Pipits and Reed Bunting. We then walked on to look over the River Parrott (high tide) and could see distant Wigeon, Grey Plover, Dunlin, Mallards, Curlew and Little Egret. Walking to the Quantock hide we had a flock of some 60 Skylarks overhead. As usual, this hide was the most rewarding with large numbers of Lapwing and Golden Plover, also Shoveler, Teal, Wigeon, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Black-headed and Herring Gull. There were a few Snipe dotted about, but the high point was excellent views of a Merlin which perched obligingly on a gate post, giving all plenty of time to view it. Finally, we went on to the Polden hide then back to the car park for lunch, picking up House Sparrow, Moorhen, Great Tit, Dunnock, Greenfinch on the way. Throughout the morning we had large numbers of Redwing and Fieldfare moving around the reserve and the Kestrel was almost always in view. After lunch, eleven of us drove on to the Natural England car park (Blue Tit, Great Tit, Goldcrest) and walked out to the Breach (Robin, flock of 20 Curlew). By now the sun was shining and we had good views of Reed Buntings showing well in a nearby shrub, Great White Egret, Marsh Harrier, two Rooks, Redshank, two Little Egrets and a distant large flock of Avocets. All in all, a very pleasant day, 45 species seen. Thanks to Richard for leading.
Sue Kempson