On Monday when I saw that there might be a break in the poor weather for a couple of days I decided to take a gamble and head off to the Somerset Levels..
Set off at 6.00 AM on Tuesday and I was still in the drive when the first drop of rain fell.What followed was a very enjoyable drive down the M 5 in heavy rain in constant lorry spray.Luckily the rain eased off and it brightened up just as I arrived in the Ham Wall car park just before 9.00 AM.
Decided to walk around the Shapwick Heath reserve first and immediately got caught up in trying to get shots of the numerous Warblers that were in the trees along the path just past the car park.Very pleased with the shots as the new camera handled the gloomy conditions well.Only failure I had was with a Garden Warbler that would not come out into the open but a big success was getting a Cetti's Warbler shot which I didn't know I'd got till I got home.
I then walked along to the Meare Heath scrape where the Hudsonian Godwit had been but had long gone.Amongst the 100+ Black Tailed Godwits were a Curlew Sandpiper and a Ruff (to the right of the first shot).
As I walked a bit further down the main path a Cuckoo landed in a tree I'd just past.It was now in front of the sun but as it was the first of the year for me I was pretty pleased to see it let alone get a shot.
After a visit to the hides at Shapwick Heath I headed over to Ham Wall and had a good walk round.Managed from the main path shots of a GW Egret and a Bittern and a pathetic shot of a Marsh Harrier.I cannot get a decent shot of these chaps here.
I then headed to the hide that's down the path that's opposite the first viewing point.It was very windy by now and I was struggling to see much when I was joined by two togs who had come down for the day from Bristol.They recognised me from my blog which was nice but what was even nicer they seemed to bring some birds with them.Soon we had both a GW Egret and a Bittern showing fairly close to the hide.
Even better some Hobbies also started hawking near the hide.I love Hobbies and was dead chuffed to get some decent shots particularly as I'd been having trouble with flight shots with the new camera.
From the same hide another pair of birds were zooming around but I blowed if I could ID them.This is the male I think and my god was it noisy.
I then had another quick look at the Meare Heath scrape and was surprised to see that 14 Whimbrel had drppoed in to have a rest.Here is a distant shot of a few of them and a shot of a Little Egret.
Completely knackered by now I headed of to my hotel.