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Saturday, 23 September 2017

Great Bustard, Sanderlings, Bearded Tit, Wheatear and Shag!

In the last 10 days since my last post I've managed to see a few interesting birds whilst out and about. None more so than a Great Bustard at Chewton Mendip! These huge birds are amongst the heaviest flyers in the world! They died out in the UK in the 1800s, but have been undergoing a reintroduction program for the last 10 years at Salisbury Plain, about 50 miles away, so the bird I saw had travelled a fair distance.
   You can follow the progress of The Great Bustard Group HERE

   Another interesting bird seen this week was a juvenile Shag in Taunton. These birds are related to the Cormorant but are a seabird and rarely seen so far inland! It has been on the river behind the Morrisons supermarket for a few weeks now and seems quite at home!

At Berrow beach the tide was way out in the Bristol channel, but I managed to walk quite a way out to photograph a small group of Sanderlings. Delightful little waders!

  At Dunster beach near Minehead I photographed a rather confiding Wheatear. These delightful  little birds are migrants and September is the best month to see them, especially in coastal areas and open country.
   I stopped briefly at Chew Valley Lake one day and couldn't believe the amount of Egrets dotted around the water margins, which had receded more than I'd seen in the past!
 Most of the birds were Great White Egrets, but there were also a few Little Egrets and one lone Cattle Egret, along with a few Herons! I also photographed a Great Black Backed Gull and a Common Sandpiper.

  Finally, a brief visit to Westhay was rewarded with a single female Bearded Tit, and a stop at RSPB Greylake produced a female Marsh Harrier, closer than I had seen there before!
There were also huge numbers of dragonflies, many of them mating!

Below are pics of everything mentioned above, plus other pics taken in the last 10 days, including Rock Pipit, Little Grebe and Grey Wagtail;

^Above^ - Great Bustard at Chewton Mendip.

^Above^ - Wheatear at Dunster Beach.

^Above^ - Rock Pipit at Dunster Beach.

^Above^ - Pied Wagtails at Dunster Beach.

^Above^ - Turnstones at Dunster beach.

^Above^ - Great White Egrets at Chew Valley Lake. (With Black Headed Gulls in bottom pic)

^Above^ - Cattle Egret at Chew Valley Lake.

^Above^ - Great White Egret, Cattle Egret, Heron, Lesser Black Back Gull, Black Headed Gulls, Canada Geese, Mallards, Shoveler and Gadwall at Chew Valley Lake!

^Above^ - Common Sandpiper at Chew Valley Lake.

^Above^ - Great Black Back Gull at Chew Valley Lake.

^Above^ - Largest group of Cormorants I've ever seen together! (Chew Valley Lake)

^Above^ - Grey Herons at Chew Valley Lake.

^Above^ - Little Grebe at Chew Valley Lake.

^Above^ - Grey Wagtail at Chew Valley Lake.

^Above^ - Lesser Black Back Gull at Chew Valley Lake.

^Above^ - Buzzard at Chew Valley Lake.

^Above^ - Juvenile Shag at the River Tone in Taunton.

^Above^ - Moorhen in Taunton.

^Above^ - Wren in Taunton.

^Above^ - Red Admirals in Taunton.

^Above^ - Squirrel in Taunton.

^Above^ - Wasp in Taunton.

^Above^ - Female Bearded Tit at Westhay in Somerset.

^Above^ - Female Marsh Harrier at RSPB Greylake in Somerset.

^Above^ - Gadwall at Greylake.

^Above^ - Mallards at Greylake.

^Above^ - Magpie at Greylake.

^Above^ - Long Tailed Tit at Greylake.

^Above^ - Robin at Greylake.

^Above^ - Mute Swan at Greylake.

^Above^ - Grey Heron at Greylake.

^Above^ - Great White Egret (and Heron) at Greylake.

^Above^ - Great White Egret, Little Egret and Heron at Greylake.

^Above^ - Mating Dragonflies at Greylake.

^Above^ - Sanderlings at Berrow Beach.

^Above^ - Little Egrets at Berrow Beach.

^Above^ - Stonechats at Berrow Beach.

^Above^ - Magpies at Berrow Beach.

^Above^ - Chiffchaff at Berrow Beach.

^Above^ - Female Hose Sparrow at Panborough in Somerset.

^Above^ - House Sparrows in my home Somerset village (With a Tick, bottom pic!)