Somerset Levels

Thornbury U3A Birdwatching Group

Visit to Shapwick Heath on the Somerset Levels to see the Starling Murmuration 22.1.2018

After a late change of venue from Ham Walls, thirteen members made their way to the bridge over the river Brue at Shapwick Heath for the annual starling ‘spectacular’. The ‘starling hotline’ had recorded that the birds were likely to be on Shapwick Heath or possibly Catcott, further to the west. It was decided to walk towards Ham Walls to the point where a break in the trees lining the track afforded views across the reed beds. In the event, after a couple of small flocks of starlings flew west, members saw whirling flocks in the distance. A hasty return to the bridge was made from there we were able to watch the murmuration through binoculars.
During our walk along the track, other birds were noted including a Greater Spotted Woodpecker on a feeder across the river, a distant Marsh Harrier over the reed beds while Great Tits, Blue Tits and Long Tailed Tits were feeding in the trees.
Although more distant than we would have liked we nevertheless were able to view this spectacular natural event and all seemed suitably satisfied.

Species list
Greylag Goose Great White Egret
Buzzard Blue Tit
Cormorant Chaffinch
Coot Great Tit
Herring Gull Starling
Long Tailed Tit Greater Spotted Woodpecker
Grey Heron Magpie
Marsh Harrier Blackbird
Carrion Crow Little Egret
Kestrel Wood Pigeon
Song Thrush
21 species