I don’t believe it…


Glastonbury is rammed full of myths and legends.  King Arthur, the Golden Chalice, the Staff of Arimathea, to name but a few. Plus Bearded Reedlings…

 I’m a skeptical sort and I don’t believe it.

It all started off rather well.  It was warm and sunny.  I met up with Andrew for a true EFRS outing.  He had the hue of a person who had been relaxing in a sunny climb (see separate post). As he regaled me with tales of Squacco herons and Ospreys, we pedaled down to Ham Wall. VP2 was looking rather splendid with the reeds just starting to turn a nice golden hue. A Kingfisher was heard zipping up the little drain but was to fast to be caught on camera.

Luckily some bigger, slower birds were about.

This would have been a myth 20 years ago.  A Marsh Harrier and a GWE at the same time!

 Never quite close enough...

Here's my selection. Nope they never come close enough although this guy was hunting pretty much all day going back and forth. A juvenile Male. - Andrew

We headed over to Noah's stopping briefly at the scrape to view the Godwits along with another Marsh harrier.  We were keen on the idea of seeing some Bearded Reedlings.  The chaps who were at the scrape already had seen some (I have forgotten names again.  I am simply rude and a bit rubbish). (He means you Cookie, sorry) - Andrew

Andrew doesn’t believe in Bearded Reedlings and I am inclined to agree.  Like the Loch Ness monster, and the Beast of Bodmin.  I just don’t believe it to be true.

I got a little bored and did some macro with my Takumar f4.0 100mm - As always a beautiful bit of kit that works rather nice as a standard prime as well. Plus some other random shots to give you a bit of atmosphere. - Andrew

Anyway we didn’t see any but luckily there were a couple of distant Black terms and possibly a Black Necked Grebe on Noah's lake.

Its the worst picture of a grebe ever...

While James is showing the Black Necked Grebe in detail I'll show you the bigger picture. - Andrew

I quit like it

We hung about a bit and soaked up the warm rays.  It was really rather nice.

On the way out of Shapwick we spotted a Jay in the fields - Andrew

Andrew was nursing a hangover and so to help him hydrate we headed over to Eco-Friendly Bites.  It was here that things got interesting.

Unlike many other conventional cafes Eco-friendly Bites encourages all sorts of critters.  Heck even Wasps get some love here… Along with the bigger more bad boy Hornets.

This is why I really like Eco-friendly Bits. Everyone is welcome and you live with it all. No sanitizing of the real world here. - Andrew

             I have never seen three Hornets all at once.  They are big and scary.
                                      Make wasps look like little girls

                                     He is one mean critter.  Don't mess.

                                    This one was photobombed by a wasp. Shame.


Going head to head - Andrew

I have never seen more than one at a time.  But here there were up to six!

Along with about 100 Wasps…

And a Robin.

Where else could you find a Cafe that positively encourages Wasps!! - Andrew

After some food and drink we headed over to Westhay.

It was really quiet.  No Bearded Reedlings… or much else for that matter.

We went up to “the hide at the end”.  Here we got some views of a Great White Egret demolishing a large fish.

Andrew busted out his smaller lenses and got some nice Dragonfly pics.

Well one or two good ones. They were on the outside of the Hide so I had to reach over and try and peer into the Live View Screen. HEY CANON MAKE A FULL FRAME WITH A FLIPPY OUTY SCREEN!!! - Andrew

Far in the distance a Peregrine was soaring but it was to far away for a pic.  Also a Kingfisher flashed by but it was far to quick for me to capture.

In the absence of anything to take photos of Andrew showed me his clever WiFi tablet, all synched up to his camera.  Had I seen this 20 years ago I would have thought it a hoax (like the Loch Ness monster and Bearded Reedlings).  I certainly don’t believe in those...

But wait there's more! We parted and I (Andrew) went back through Shapwick stopping off at VP2 Hamwall intending to just shoot the breeze for half an hour before heading back to complete the much waited Mallorca blog. Unfortunately I let time slip and simply enjoyed the slowly changing light. That Marsh Harrier was still looking for lunch which had turned into tea and was quickly turning into supper the rate he was going.

A couple of fair weather glory hunters just looking for the exciting stuff like the Glossy Ibis!

Yep even more waylaidness in the shape of the above, Mike and Carolyn plus Scamp somewhere snuffling around. There goes another hour.

Midnight snack?

Mike kindly spotted this chap on a stick - See Mike it did come out ;¬)

But the mist was moving back in and the light was going. We called it a day. The reeds are at thier prime for me. Yes we may moan that we can't see anything, erm who the hell are we to complain!, but that ruddy, ruby red of the flowering mixed with the greens and blues and browns washed over with a late summer glow and haze is the epitome of the levels for me - Andrew

Erm! Breakfast?

And finally - On the cycle home I got a text of Mike - "Just had a Glossy Ibis flying over VP1"

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