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Saturday, 22 April 2017

Sedge Warblers, Great White Egrets and Peregrine Falcons!

Spring has really arrived in Somerset in the last week!
  The weather has been dry and bright for the most part and the Summer visiting migrant birds have started to arrive, including one of my favourites, the Sedge Warbler!
  At RSPB Greylake the reedbeds were alive with them, constantly singing from deep inside, hidden from view for the most part, but occasionally giving brief song flights above the reeds and then landing within view! I challenged myself to grab a shot of them during their song flight, and it was a tough ask as they're small birds, they don't stay up long and there's no hint to when or where they will  suddenly shoot up from the reeds!
The first few times it happened, my camera couldn't even grab a focus until they were down out of view again! It was pretty frustrating, but I got some shots of them on the outskirts of the reedbeds which tempered my frustration! Finally I managed a couple of flight shots, one of which wasn't too bad at all, and a shot I'd been after for years! :)
   At Shapwick Heath on the Somerset Levels I found my first Whitethroat of the year! I also watched a Long Tailed Tit catch and kill a large caterpillar by whacking it repeatedly against a branch! Who thought the cute tiny Long Tailed Tit could be so brutal?! That's nature for you.... the caterpillar was soon swallowed down whole!
  Whilst there a Great White Egret flew right overhead. I will tire of seeing these magnificent rare herons, even as they continue to spread across the Levels and further afield!
   One dull grey day last week I stopped for lunch on the Clifton Downs overlooking the Avon Gorge. This is a great spot to see Peregrine Falcons. Sure enough, there were 2 in the sky, and I managed some photo's as one circled over my head! Just a pity about the light (Or lack of!)
Below are photo's of the Sedge Warblers, Great White Egrets and Peregrine Falcons, plus other shots I have managed in the last week, including Black Tailed Godwit, Swallow, Cetti's Warbler, Blackcap and bathing Woodpigeon! :)

^Above^ - Delightful Sedge Warblers at RSPB Greylake!

^Above^ - Swallow at Greylake.

^Above^ -  Male Blackcap at Greylake.

^Above^ -  Cetti's Warbler with nesting material at Greylake.

^Above^ - Goldfinch at Greylake.

^Above^ -  Great Tit at Greylake.

^Above^ - Grey Heron at Greylake.

^Above^ - Lapwings at Greylake....on the nest in the bottom pic!

^Above^ - Male Mallard at Greylake.

^Above^ - Reed Buntings at Greylake.

^Above^ - Redshank at Greylake.

^Above^ - Song Thrush at Greylake.

^Above^ - Dunnocks at Greylake.

^Above^ - Cormorant at Greylake.

^Above^ - Peacock Butterflies at Greylake....today there was lots of Butterfly love going on!!

^Above^ - White Butterfly at Greylake.

^Above^ - Wren at Greylake.

^Above^ - Greylake Reeds at the sun goes down...

^Above^ - Great White Egret at Shapwick Heath.

^Above^ - Long Tailed Tit at Shapwick Heath, with unfortunate caterpillar!

^Above^ - Mute Swan at Shapwick Heath.

^Above^ - Damselfly at Shapwick Heath.

^Above^ - Black Tailed Godwit record shots at Shapwick Heath.

^Above^ - Singing Whitethroat at Shapwick Heath.

^Above^ - Shapwick Heath was popular on a lovely Spring day!

^Above^ - Magnificent Peregrine Falcons at the Avon Gorge in Bristol.

^Above^ - Posing Magpie at Clifton Downs in Bristol.

^Above^ - Woodpigeon at the Avon Gorge.

^Above^ - Jackdaws at the Avon Gorge!

^Above^ - House Sparrows in my home Somerset village.

^Above^ - Baa baa Black Sheep in my home village!

^Above^ - Cow Parsley (I think!) bokeh in my home village.

^Above^ - Bee on a leaf in my home village.

^Above^ - Bathing Woodpigeon in my Somerset garden.

^Above^ - Collared Dove in my garden.

^Above^ - Robins in my garden.

^Above^ - Blackbird in my garden.

^Above^ - Goldfinch in Cherry blossom in my garden.