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Saturday, 16 July 2016

Collared Pratincole at RSPB Ham Wall!

So on monday evening (11th July) I was scrolling through my Twitter feed after having my tea when something jumped off my phone and hit me straight between the eyes.... a Collared Pratincole at RSPB Ham Wall!!
   After a brief discussion with my other half, we decided to make our way to Ham Wall immediately, kids in tow....this bird was too good to miss!
 The light wasn't great when we got there, but the bird was showing well from the 2nd viewing platform, wheeling left and right hunting flies, looking remarkably like a big Swift, especially in silhouette, which were also out in force hunting!
   Apparently this was the first sighting in Somerset since 1858, the only other record, though even that was a pretty sketchy account! 
 What a bird!!
I went back 2 nights later with my mate Geoff to try and get some better photos as it was a brighter evening. Unfortunately the Pratincole stayed pretty distant, but it was fascinating to watch it hunting.

Below are some record shots of this wonderful rare bird, plus pictures taken since my last blog post 3 weeks ago;

Collared Pratincole

^Above^ - The Collared Pratincole!

^Above^ - Great White Egret at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Heron at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Black Headed Gull at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Swift at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Gadwall at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Shovelers at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - Little Egret at Ham Wall.

^Above^ - House Martin at Ham Wall.

^Above^ -  Young Jackdaws at Backwell lake in North Somerset.

^Above^ - Black Headed Gull at Backwell lake.

^Above^ - Lesser Black Back Gulls at Apex Park in Somerset.

^Above^ - Herring Gulls at Apex Park.

^Above^ - Swifts at Westonzoyland in Somerset.

^Above^ - Woodpigeons at Westonzoyland.

^Above^ - Great Crested Grebe family at Apex Park.

^Above^ - Greylag Geese at Apex Park.

^Above^ - Mute Swans at Apex Park.

^Above^ - Young Reed Warbler at Apex Park.

^Above^ - Pied Wagtail with bugs at Apex Park.

^Above^ - Mallard at Apex Park.

^Above^ - Coot at Apex Park.

^Above^ - Dogs at Apex Park.

^Above^ - Hunting House Sparrows at Cheddar Reservoir in Somerset.

^Above^ - Ox-eye Daisies at Cheddar Reservoir.

^Above^ - Black Headed Gull at Cheddar Reservoir.

^Above^ - Magpies at Brean Down in Somerset.

^Above^ - Young Pied Wagtail at Brean Down.

^Above^ - Parent Pied Wagtail at Brean Down.

^Above^ - House Sparrows at Brean Down.

^Above^ - Young Robin at Brean Down.

^Above^ - Rock Pipit at Brean Down.

^Above^ - Wild Poppies at Brean Down.

^Above^ - Young Dunnocks at RSPB Greylake in Somerset.

^Above^ - Young Robin at Greylake.

^Above^ - Singing and preening male Reed Bunting at Greylake.

^Above^ - Reed Warbler at Greylake.

^Above^ - Peregrine Falcon at Greylake.

^Above^ - Buzzard at Greylake.

^Above^ - Young Coot at Greylake.

^Above^ - Young Mallard at Greylake.

^Above^ - Great White Egret at Greylake.

^Above^ - Little Egret at Greylake.

^Above^ - Grey Heron at Greylake.

^Above^ - Tortoiseshell butterfly at Greylake.

^Above^ - Swallow at Greylake.

^Above^ - Carrion Crows at Greylake.

^Above^ - Mute Swans at Greylake.

^Above^ - My good friend Geoff getting the nature photography bug at Greylake!

^Above^ - Finally, some flowers in my garden!