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Sunday, 18 November 2018

Short Eared Owls at Steart Marshes and Cattle Egrets at Shapwick Heath!

Whilst at work the last week I enviously saw photo's uploaded to Twitter and Facebook of gorgeous Short Eared Owls showing well at Steart Marshes in Somerset. I couldn't wait for the weekend to go and see if I could get some photo's of these wonderful charismatic birds myself, especially as the weather forecast was good!

   The Marshes didn't disappoint, and there were up to 7 Owls flying about in the afternoon sun, delighting the gathered crowds of birders and photographers!
   They were not easy to photograph, but I managed a few shots that I was pleased with, in fact my best ever Short Eared Owl pics, as I hadn't had a lot of luck with this species previously!

 Also seen was a female Hen Harrier, a lone Brambling (My first of the year!), a few Snipe and Curlew, plus lots of Skylarks, which are always a delight to see and hear!

  This afternoon I drove with my family past Shapwick Heath and stopped by a field with up to 25 Cattle Egrets in! They are becoming pretty common on the Somerset Levels now, and it's a wonderful success story! They're fabulous birds to watch, as they stalk around the cows looking for prey! I saw them catch Dragonflies and one catch a Toad!

 Also seen was a female Kestrel with a young Snake as prey!

I was asked onto BBC Somerset radio a few days ago to talk to Charlie Taylor about my nature photography and how I use social media, particularly Twitter! This is way out of my comfort zone, but it was my 4th time on the radio this year, so I'm getting used to it! Managed to chat for 10 minutes, my longest interview yet!

  I will post a link to the interview below, plus photo's of all I mention above, and pics of other birds I've seen since my last post including Marsh Tits, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Goldfinches and Fieldfares. :)

^Above^ - The gorgeous Short Eared Owls at Steart Marshes in Somerset. 

^Above^ - Short Eared Owl and a flock of Linnets at Steart Marshes.

^Above^ - Hen Harrier at Steart Marshes.

^Above^ - Goldfinches at Steart Marshes.

^Above^ - Lapwings at Steart Marshes.

^Above^ - Curlew at Steart Marshes.

^Above^ - Female Chaffinch at Steart Marshes.

^Above^ - Brambling at Steart Marshes.

^Above^ - Little Egret at Steart Marshes.

^Above^ - Linnets at Steart Marshes.

^Above^ - Skylarks at Steart Marshes.

^Above^ - Snipe at Steart Marshes.

^Above^ - Cattle Egrets at Shapwick Heath in Somerset.

^Above^ - Female Kestrel with a Snake at Shapwick Heath.

^Above^ - More Cattle Egrets, this time at RSPB Greylake in Somerset.

^Above^ - Gadwall at RSPB Greylake.

^Above^ - Lapwings at RSPB Greylake, chasing a Magpie away in the bottom pic!

^Above^ - Magpie at RSPB Greylake.

^Above^ - Mallards at RSPB Greylake.

^Above^ - Marsh Harriers at RSPB Greylake.

^Above^ - Starlings at RSPB Greylake.

^Above^ - Roe Deer at RSPB Greylake.

^Above^ - Buzzard at RSPB Greylake.

^Above^ - Blue Tits at RSPB Greylake.

^Above^ - Great Tits at RSPB Greylake.

^Above^ - House Sparrow at RSPB Greylake.

^Above^ - Pheasant at RSPB Greylake.

^Above^ - Starling at RSPB Greylake.

^Above^ - Unidentified caterpillar at RSPB Greylake.

^Above^ - Fieldfares near Middlezoy in Somerset.

^Above^ - Buzzard near Middlezoy.

^Above^ - Kingfisher near Middlezoy.

^Above^ - Blackbird and Berries near Middlezoy.

^Above^ - Little Egret and Mute Swans near Middlezoy.

^Above^ - Lapwings near Middlezoy.

^Above^ - Rooks near Middlezoy, with a Walnut in the bottom pic.

^Above^ - Rook and Carrion Crow near Middlezoy.

^Above^ - Roe Dear near Bruton in Somerset.

^Above^ - Snipe near Bruton.

^Above^ - Great Spotted Woodpecker at Low Ham in Somerset.

^Above^ - Kestrel at Low Ham.

^Above^ - Meadow Pipit at Low Ham.

^Above^ - Pheasant at Compton Dundon in Somerset.

^Above^ - Marsh Tits at RSPB Swell Wood in Somerset.

^Above^ - Coal Tits at Swell Wood.

^Above^ - Blue Tits at Swell Wood.

^Above^ - Wren in my Somerset garden.

^Above^ - Woodpigeon in my garden.

^Above^ - Goldfinches in my garden.

^Above^ - Robin in my garden.

^Above^ - Collared Dove in my garden.

^Above^ - Chaffinch in my garden.

^Above^ - Blue Tit in my garden.

^Above^ - Starlings in my garden.

^Above^ - Greenfinch in my garden.

^Above^ - Somerset Autumn....

^Above^ - Video of bickering Starlings in my garden.

^Above^ - My BBC Somerset Radio interview!


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