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Monday, 25 February 2019

Hen Harrier, Merlin and Short Eared Owls at Steart Marshes!

   As it was half-term I took the week off work to be with the kids with the plan to go away and stay somewhere in Devon by finding a last-minute deal somewhere. Alas, no last minute deals available, at least in my price range!

So instead we ventured out to different local places.Unfortunately it was mostly cloudy for the week, although a late afternoon visit to beautiful Kilve beach in Somerset brought some gorgeous and welcome sunshine!
  Whilst the family looked for fossils, I settled down and tried photographing some of the Pied Wagtails that were hunting the many little flies between the pebbles and rocks.

Later in the week we visited Steart Marshes and Wall Common in Somerset. Again my girls searched for fossils on the beach whilst I went in search of the Short Eared Owls that have been seen there regularly recently. I got lucky and managed some shots of one hunting, although the light wasn't great by the time it came out. 
   I got even luckier before that, as a stunning 'Ringtail' Hen harrier came soaring over the the marshes bordering fence and flew around in a loop, soon disappearing from whence it came! 
What a brief but stunning moment, always so magical to see these rare and elusive birds of prey!
Also seen during the visit was a distant Merlin on the pebble bank at Wall Common.
3 fabulous birds of prey in one afternoon, how lucky I was! 

On another afternoon we went to Apex Park in Burnham on Sea and walked around the coastal path to Burnham beach. During the walk I watched and listened to a Song Thrush singing beautifully in the top of a hedge. I decided to film it for 5 minutes, and I've since watched it back 4 or 5 times, the song is so relaxing and soothing! Below is the video. Emjoy! :D


Below are pics of everything mentioned above, plus ther shots taken since my last blog post including ones taken in my Somerset garden of bickering Goldfinches and other regular visitors!

^Above^ - Ringtail Hen Harrier at Steart Marshes!

^Above^ - Merlin at Steart.

^Above^ - Short Eared Owls at Steart.

^Above^ - Curlews at Steart.

^Above^ - Female Reed Bunting at Steart.

^Above^ - Female Stonechat at Steart.

^Above^ - Skylark at Steart.

^Above^ - Fly hunting Pied Wagtails at Kilve beach.

^Above^ - Rock Pipits at Kilve.

^Above^ - Robin at Kilve.

^Above^ - Oystercatchers at Kilve.

^Above^ - Rooks at Kilve, the last one looking very strange without its tail!!

^Above^ - Jackdaws at Kilve.

^Above^ - Domestic white Doves at Kilve.

^Above^ - Redshanks near Apex Park, Burnham on Sea.

^Above^ - Singing Song Thrush at Apex Park.

^Above^ - Pied Wagtail at Apex Park.

^Above^ - Cormorant near Apex Park.

^Above^ - Carrion Crow near Apex Park.

^Above^ - Blackbird near Apex Park.

^Above^ - Magpie near Apex Park.

^Above^ - Lesser Black Back Gull near Apex Park.

^Above^ - Mute Swan at Apex Park.

^Above^ - Goldfinches in my Somerset garden.

^Above^ - Greenfinches in my garden.

^Above^ - Chaffinches in my garden, the bottom 2 pics showing quite an aggressive attack!

^Above^ - Male Blackbird in my garden.

^Above^ - Collared Doves in my garden, with a Woodpigeon in the bottom pic.

^Above^ - Woodpigeons in my garden.

^Above^ - Starling in my garden.

^Above^ - Wren in my garden.

^Above^ - Male Reed Bunting in my garden.

^Above^ - Woodpigeon in blossom in a neighbours garden.

^Above^ - Rabbit at Steart.

^Above^ - Sunset splashes at Kilve beach.

^Above^ - Blossom at Kilve.

^Above^ - Sunset couple at Kilve.

^Above^ - Our beautiful Flat Coated Retriever 'Charm'. It's her 7th Birthday today! (25th February)

^Above^ - Sunset at Kilve

^Above^ - Short Eared Owl on a post at almost darkness at Steart Marshes.

^Above^ - Preeening Woodpigeons in my garden.

^Above^ - Goldfinches, Greenfinch and Chaffinch in my garden.