Sunday 17 November – Ham Wall Leader: Jeff Holmes

Over 30 club members attended this morning’s circular walk around the wetland habitats of the RSPB reserve on a dry calm day. Looking across the reed-bed and open water a good variety of ducks were present including Shoveler, Wigeon and Teal. Amongst a noisy flock of Lapwings were around 30 Black-tailed Godwits and small groups of flying Snipe. Great White and Little Egrets were scattered around and a distant group of 19 Egrets in a field turned out to be Cattle Egret. On the edge of a ditch a Grey Heron had caught a rather large Pike which it eventually managed to swallow much to the disappointment of three Crows who were hoping for some left over bits. A backdrop of sound was provided by singing Cetti’s Warblers and squealing Water Rails. Bearded Tits were heard and seen by one lucky observer. At the Avalon hide a Kingfisher flashed by. At least five Marsh Harriers including two males flew low over the reeds giving some good views. Two Sparrowhawks were seen including a perched bird which gave good scope views. The woodland and scrub areas held good numbers of mixed Tit flocks and amongst them were up to six Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was perched at the top of a bare tree with another seen in flight. Only a few Redwings were seen, feeding with Blackbirds in hawthorns, but no Fieldfares. The odd perched Buzzard was the only raptor seen in this habitat. Around 50 species were seen. (Thanks to Jeff for leading, Ed). Jeff Holmes.