It's all kicking off again!


It most certainly is! Not a hundred yards into Hamwall from the Sharpham end and a Cuckoo is calling and clear as day in the row of dead trees to the right. I've seen one here a few times over the years. Most probably the same one. Well done for avoiding Malta. Nice start after laying low for too long. Could it get better?

Cuckoo calling

How about a nice Bittern passing by VP2

Next up a dozen Swifts flying high. Welcome back my fav birds of all time eva. Looking forward to snapping and watching you lot for a few weeks to come.

Still not impressed? Well let me raise the bar with a flock of Bitterns!

Three Bitterns all in a row

Lets even things up shall we with four Bitterns

And why have one Cuckoo when you can have two. Ok this is probably the same one just moving along but who's counting. Erm I am.

Possibly a mother Cuckoo

Now it's Raptor time with a stunning Male Marsh harrier

Rather disappointing show from the latest stars of the show the Glossy Ibis

I was discussing the Swifts with a couple of other birders and I happened to mention how much I would like to see a Hobby. Well that would be nice wouldn't it. Am I being greedy? Well if you don't ask you don't get........

Very distant Hobby over Tor View Hide

Not to forget the youngsters here's a few Greylag Goslings. Not much for them to worry about except perhaps Otters, Pike, Marsh harriers, Crows, Mink, Foxes and countless diseases! Good luck fellas

Greylags over at Shapwick. No Otter sorry. Well you can't have everything can you.


 That was enough for Hamwall and Shapwick. I though I would pop over to Westhey. Reason being that that is the place to go for Hobbies. I had a hunch. Before that I popped into Eco-bites for a cuppa. While there I looked up. Guess what I saw being harassed by a couple of House Martins. Yep a hobby.

He's behind you!

So to Westhey. I went straight to the raised hide as this is the place to get Hobbies. They go low and your high. Perfect. It wasn't long and yep he passed through.

Rather grumpy and lonely Greylag who seems to have been ostracised from the rest of the Gand. It sits right in front of the hide.

Here he is right on cue

And a Kingfisher. it just gets better!

Now a pair of marsh harriers swapping food in fright.

There he is again

Waking up

It didn't do much of this in flight. 

The best shot from today. Lots more to come I hope

When things died down I went over to the new hide. Path still looks like the Somme but I'm sure this will be sorted. Well there was very little indeed. It was all elsewhere. The only thing moving was a Coot and this Little Grebe

Thinking that was about it I made my way home. Stopping for a moment at the small bridge along Godney road I noticed a few House Martins and Swallows. I may as well give it a shot. 

Phew!! What a start. I've been otherwise disposed for a while and left James to hold the fort. Today was like nature had been saving it all up! The summer is looking like it's going to be a good one foe all. Ref blow your whistle.


Love is in the air


Its an exciting time of year.  After what seems like an eternity of miserable, grey winter the first signs of spring have arrived. The bare and stricken branches are now adorned with the buds of life.  Bees are busily bumbling, their podgy, furry bodies caked in white pollen.  Chiff Chaffs, the early heralds of better things can be heard all around.  Of course they are not alone.  The bubbling of the goldfinch, the harsh rasp of the raven and the explosive call of the Cetti's all contribute towards Natures rich spring chorus.

The EFRS are always keen to get some spring action.  After some debate via text message we settled on RSPB Swell Wood.  The herons should be out in their full breeding regalia, adorned with jet black streamers and sunburst orange bills.

Travelling in style via Andrews Vauxhall I nearly fell asleep on the comfy neck/head rests (available via Amazon Andrew informs me). 

There was some uncertainty on the route to this little wood but we persevered and soon we had arrived.  It was a beautiful scene with rays of sun striking through the canopy.

I immediately started following little birds that were flitting about the place

I quite like this one

We then made our way to the new hide.  We got that Jurassic Park feeling as the nearby grunts and gurgles of the new heron parents carried in the light breeze.

Andrew - I have to say I love the new hide! I'm not a fan at the best of times but this one really works. It's well made, unobtrusive and with a wonderful wide open front. You can see everything infant. Your not looking through slits and trying to find a hole in a screen thats the right hight for you. Now I do understand that these are necessary evil normally but this one makes you feel your in an amphitheatre. It doesn't get any better. Well done RSPB

The path to the hide

Isn't it wonderful! Even down to the grass roof!

What a view!

We were tipped off by Robin Morrison about the reclining seats at the back and yep they are there

James made a friend

Watching the herons was fascinating.  Normally they are either staring at some water or flying away.  It was great to see the fighting and also (on occasion) cooperating.

As you can see we saw fair bit of heron based action.  The second leg of the tour was Greylake.  The sun was shinng so hopefully we could get some half decent pics.

James braking one of the EFRS rules!

Love was most definitely in the air.  Lapwings, Buntings, Goldfinches.  They were all at it.

Andrew: After the pints at the Becket in Glastonbury I went back out with an EFRS friend Adrian and had a few nice hours at Hamwall.

Really bad and very cropped Male Marsh harrier


Found this dead Mole on the path. Couldn't see any injury

This Great Crested Grebe was enjoying himself in the evening sun


Fantastic day and a pleasant evening. Bring on the rest of the summer.................