Tuesday 27th May – Shapwick Heath/Ham Wall

 A small band of twelve members set out on a sunny morning to enjoy an amble along Shapwick Heath, passing the lagoons and visiting Noah’s and Meare Heath hides. There was then time to picnic in the Ashcott car park before a pleasant hour on Ham Wall. We had lively action from the start with Reed Warbler, Coal, Great and Blue Tits at the car park edge. A Robin and juvenile were seen and in a short distance a pair of Cetti’s Warblers were displaying, waggling their wings alternately at each other, framed in a gap through the bushes. Several more were heard along the track as was a Cuckoo periodically calling and a booming Bittern, more of which were seen flying later in the day when we reached the new Ham Wall hide. The lagoons had a good variety of water birds but few waders. There was a pair of Marsh Harriers and swooping Hobbies, and a Sparrowhawk giving a ‘fly past’. Little Grebe and Great White Egret were in the middle distance and a Whitethroat moved around the scrub alongside the South Drain. We were entertained by a Great Spotted Woodpecker on the bare branches of trees in standing water near Noah’s hide. A number of different chicks were seen, with a Great Crested Grebe sheltering hers on the nest. It was lovely to see Common Tern on the Ham Wall and we rounded the day off with a juvenile Blackcap, Long-tailed Tits and a Treecreeper making 56 species in all. (Thanks to Sue for leading.) Sue Watson