Sunday 15 May – Ham Wall Leader: Bob Buck

Eight of us set out along the railway track at Ham Wall on a mild and pleasant morning. Herons showed well, starting with two Glossy Ibis flying low over the path, then regular sightings of Great White Egrets all morning (there are 40 nests in Somerset this spring) as well as Little Egret, Grey Heron and, of course, Bitterns which boomed and flew around in the far distance before one finally toured the reed bed giving us all great views. Great Crested Grebes were displaying and carrying young on their backs. Several Marsh Harriers and a Lapwing quartered the far shore while at least 28 Black-tailed Godwits could be glimpsed at their roost in the reeds. We heard two Cuckoos but failed to see either. Lots of Swifts were careering through the sky and even screaming low over the reeds, joined by just one or two Swallows and House Martins. Sadly, we found no Hobby in attendance but some saw a Sparrowhawk. Cetti’s, Reed and Willow Warblers were singing lustily. We had a good opportunity to compare Blackcap and Garden Warbler songs, with plenty of thrushes joining in as well as Chiffchaffs and a Whitethroat. Our leader thinks he heard a Sedge Warbler but we couldn’t locate it. Reed Buntings were much admired as they balanced on the reed stems. Our final total was 46 species. Note that the second bridge by Viewing Platform Two has been closed indefinitely for safety reasons.
Many thanks to Bob for leading us around this site that he knows so well. Jane Cumming