Unable to afford to stay in nearby Glastonbury (The Premier Inn wanted £95 room only) I had stayed in a motel in Axbridge near Cheddar for £45 and it was very good value plus they did a very early buffet breakfast.This enabled me to get to the reserve (10 miles away) at just before 8.00AM.
As I was getting kitted up in the car park a large black SUV parked next to me.A chap got out carrying 2 very strong looking leads.I wondered what the hell they were for as the looked strong enough to keep an oil tanker tied up at Milford Haven.He soon appeared with 2 enormous dogs who both looked at me from a few feet away and their eyes said "I could kill you in less than 5 seconds".As they were lead down the track to Ham Wall I went the other way to Shapwick Heath.
If anything it was more gloomy than it was yesterday but at least it was dry.Decent pics would be hard to get today.
On the first pool you reach on the right there were a couple of dozen Black-tailed Godwits but they were right at the back.A Black-winged Stilt had been there a few days ago.That would have been nice.
After a walk round the reserve I saw a GW Egret fly in and land on the same pond as the Godwits but it also was at the back.It didn't stay long either and soon flew off towards Ham Wall.Cannot get close to these chaps ! !
About an hour later as I was scanning the scrape from the first viewing point at Ham Wall I spotted a GW Egret flying in and was able to get some better shots as it landed in the reeds.Pity about the poor light.
Both Hobbies and Marsh Harriers were flying around a lot but never really came into range of my lens.
I was not having as much luck with Bitterns as I did yesterday.I think they didn't fancy the gloomy conditions and were waiting for some brightness before they had a fly round.At the new hide I did spot a distant one perched in the reeds but even that soon flew off and I couldn't get a decent shot.
As it was getting nearer to lunchtime I headed down the grass track to my favourite picnic spot.I took the Canon SX50 camera out and did some macro photography on route.Not checked these yet but I got stung so often by the stinging nettles as I tried to get close to insects that I may have broken the English record for most stings on one hand.Still awaiting confirmation of that though.
The only bird shot I took on this walk was of one of the many Cetti's Warblers on the reserve.
By early afternoon I was back at the first viewing point and a Little Egret plus after a while another GW Egret flew in and I managed a few shots.I've got to say it again Oh for a bit of brightness but I must not moan too much as these are my best shots of these chaps to date.
Not wishing to set off home down the M5 too late I headed back to the car park.As I neared it I spotted a family of Willow Warblers (They could be Chiffchaffs I couldn't tell for definite) in a tree and what an entertaining few minutes I had.There were 5 chicks one seemed bolder than the others and wandered off on it's own.A very enjoyable experience.