Ham Wall -- Half day visit
February 28th 2017
There were 7 of us and the day kindly gave us excellent visibility and sunny skies if somewhat cold and windy. The walk was led by our deputy leader, Jean. Our regular leader Brian stayed wrapped up in bed until much later!
On arrival in the car park we saw a Buzzard perching and a small flock of Meadow Pipits flew past with 2 of them pausing for identification on telegraph wires.
There were several Blue Tits and Great Tits feeding at the feeders beside the entrance office.
As we walked we saw Long Tailed Tits, a Grey Heron, and Mute Swans.
And so to an open viewing platform overlooking open water. Here we saw Wigeon, Tufted Ducks, Coot, Canada Goose, Shoveler and Mallard, Great Crested Grebe and a pair of Pintail Duck plus an Egret. On a pile of reeds in the distance, beside the egret was the pair of Glossy Ibis. Although a little far for a great photograph this one in colour does show some of the lovely colouring within their overall black appearance. There has been a rumour that this pair has been showing signs of imminent breeding, but we saw no evidence of this.
At an unnamed hide a short distance away we were able to enjoy a pair of Great Crested Grebes performing mating behaviour with head bopping and turning.
After leaving this area, a little later a Cormorant flew overhead, followed a little later by a flock of about 40 Lapwing.
Three of us who were hanging back were able to watch a Male Marsh Harrier give us a lovely flying display for at least a minute.
On our return to the car park some of us spotted a female Marsh Harrier and a Kingfisher.
Heard but not seen were Cetti’s Warbler and a Reed Bunting.
If we include the Wood Pigeon, Carrion Crow and Robin, we spotted 30 species of bird and a great time was had by all.