October 25, 2020 at 5:54 pm #3225
Hi Everyone – prior to the new U3A web site going on line I am testing the bird watching forum. Let me know of any new sighting you have had on recent walks or visits. Have you had any sightings of thrushes, what about waders on the Levels.
January 12, 2022 at 3:34 pm #9759
A birding trip to Stolford this morning in the sunshine – another good list including Turnstone, Redshank, Curlew, Pintail (a good number, though distant), Brent Geese (dozen or more), Mallard, Teal, Wigeon, Oystercatcher and Shelduck, plus Meadow Pipits, Pied Wagtails, Starling flock and assorted LBJs.January 11, 2022 at 4:26 pm #9758
A good tally of bird species seen on Porlock Marsh this afternoon: Curlew, Redshank, Oystercatcher, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Cormorant, Shelduck, Mallard, Teal, Herring Gull, Black-headed Gull, Greater Black-backed Gull, and (surprisingly) Little Grebe.December 27, 2021 at 3:40 pm #9698
A large flock of Wigeon and Curlew, plus a few Teal, were on Lower Marsh Farm fields (Dunster) this afternoon. Also there were Little Egrets, Grey Heron, Mallard, Black-headed and Herring Gulls, Pied Wagtails, Magpies and assorted Corvids. On the beach we also saw Shelduck, Lesser Black-backed Gull and Oystercatcher.December 26, 2021 at 12:23 pm #9696
Mediterranean Gull seen from bus shelter towards the end of Culvercliffe.
Male Black Redstart still active – seen on sea wall today (outside my house at Harbour Court, Esplanade) flew off to back of houses and then appeared on my bird bath. Seen several times this morning.
Male Blackcap feeding on fat balls.
Grey Wagtail in garden yesterday.
Hope you all had a Merry ChristmasDecember 12, 2021 at 10:59 am #9517
Black Redstart – my first of the season lovely view of a male in my back garden (Esplanade, Minehead). Chased off by the local Robin but returned a few minutes later. Last year a female stayed around the Minehead sea front all winter. She tended to be seen on the rooves between the Metropole and Quay Inn, either seen from the sea front or from North Road or the Blenheim Road end of Northfield Road.
The males are very distinct, an upright Robin stance, very black with white patch on the wing & orangey/red on the tail. The females are less obvious looking so more like a Robin but no red breast and orangey/red on the tail, especially noticed in flight.
Have also had a juvenile Grey Wagtail in the back garden several times.November 8, 2021 at 3:11 pm #9166
Snow Bunting update. I went to Dunster Beach this morning. Met someone who said there was one by the shovels (turn right at car park entrance with sea on your left) and keep going. Went there but my sighting was a little further along. So pass the shovels on your right, then also on right is a hedge line, then further on right is a large stone a few feet away from the fence (very obvious). Directly opposite that stone on the other side of the path, so facing the sea, is where I saw it. It was very close and just over the ridge on the seaward side and in amongst some pale yellow long flattened grass. Good close views, I was standing on ridge above the path, saw it below me perched on a stone, foraging and stretching its wings. Hope the above is enough and helps members to find it.November 7, 2021 at 9:27 am #9133
Snow Buntings have been seen at Dunster Beach over the last few days. Have not been able to pin point which area as a photo posted just showed it on pebbles. Let me know if you see any at Dunster or elsewhere. Last year one was seen quite often at Bossington Beach just along from one of the Lime Kilns.November 6, 2021 at 4:37 pm #9132Susan HutchingsParticipant
Went to Steart again yesterday, a few hours after high tide. At Quantock hide we saw Mallards, Shovelers, Spoonbill, Lapwings, Egrets, Golden Plovers in their hundreds, family of Swans including 6 adolescents, Stonechats. At Mendip hide we saw 3 Marsh Harriers. Heard a Cetti Warbler in reeds on walk back to car park.October 12, 2021 at 10:02 am #8948Susan HutchingsParticipant
Visited Steart last Sunday and saw Spoonbill, couple of Swans, Mallards, Golden Plover, Grey Heron, Linnets, Greenfinch and mass of Starlings sitting on a pylon making a racket.September 1, 2021 at 4:17 pm #8619
Nic and I saw the Wryneck at Culvercliffe yesterday, an excellent sighting as it perched on a dock or thistle twig. Two other birders there reported that it had been very visible for an extended period, often hopping about on the ground.August 30, 2021 at 10:07 pm #8610
30th August – Wryneck seen Culvercliffe, Minehead where 1st hut is along path to left, in and around the weedy area occasionally perching up, last reported just after 5pm. Have not seen it myself.August 11, 2021 at 4:28 pm #8367
Tim H and I visited Steart today. On our way we saw 2 Peregrines between Dunster Station and Conygar Tower. On arrival saw that a Red Necked Phalarope and a Black-winged Stilt had been seen the day before – we did not find them!
However we saw 30 different species including Avocet, Green Sandpiper, Greenshank, Kestrel, Little Ringed Plover, Raven, Reed Warbler and Wheatear.August 7, 2021 at 1:30 pm #8346
I was lucky to see the Little Owl in Dunster the other day. Hear that a Red Kite was seen in Alcombe, Minehead earlier this week, there have been several sighting in that area this year.June 15, 2021 at 6:13 pm #7832
Just about to add a few things about my sighting. However Janet Wilson has posted under a new heading about the Rose Coloured Starling she has seen in her garden at Porlock. I’m green with envy.
For my part I visited Dunster Beach ponds yesterday. Cetti’s Warblers and Reed Warblers were both calling. Several sets of Canada Geese has goslings and likewise the Mallards have duckling.
Today I went towards Butlins, walked alongside the railway path and then across into the Rose garden. Again Cetti’s Warblers and Reed Warblers were heard in the reed beds. Then in the Rose Garden the Cetti’s Warbler was heard again, it was probably across the main road. Then being hassled by Herring Gulls over the Callen’s Wood, Alcombe area was a Red Kite.
I hope to be off to Scotland on Friday – bird watching of course.June 6, 2021 at 3:59 pm #7657
River Warbler – Ham Wall (5th June 2021)
I came across this on one of the web sites I visit, have to say I have not heard of a River Warbler before!
A rare visitor to the UK with on average just one record a year with this bird being a first for Somerset. Typically breeding across central and southern Europe to southwest Siberia and northwest Kazakhstan, it is a rather nondescript brown warbler. Dark with a plain brown back, faintly streaked breast, and pale belly.
Usually very shy or skulky and hard to spot, other than when singing. Found in dense low bushes often near marshes. The song is a sharp, continuous, and almost machinelike “dzi-dzi-dzi-dzi-dzi-dz.”
Photograph on eBird on this link, although have not tried it myself yet, https://ebird.org/species/eurwar2?siteLanguage=en_GB
The river warbler has been seen singing regularly on a pile of brash on the grass path side of the canal near the turning to the Avalon Hide.
Please adhere to guidance on social distancing and hygiene and be considerate of each other to ensure that everyone can view the bird safely, as well as being able to pass along the path.
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