|Habitat||Extensive reedbeds, open freshwater, shallow pools, scrub, damp woodland|
|Grid ref/postcode for main car park||ST449397, BA6 9SX|
|Directions||The car park is at Ashcott Corner, between Ashcott and Meare, on the east side of the road south of the main drain (for further details see Shapwick Heath). Car park opening times:
7am–6.30pm (1 Oct–31 Jan), 7am–8pm (1 Feb–31 Mar), 6am–10pm (1 Apr–30 Sep)
Car park – tickets are £3 per car for all day. Access to the reserve trails and facilities are included in the cost of your parking ticket. Entrance and parking are FREE to RSPB members.
Disabled parking area near first viewing platform is accessible through locked gate using radar key.
|Accessibility||Main track is old railway line – mostly flat, wide, and gravel.
Other tracks are grassy and uneven on soft peat, but best views from main track anyway.
There is a slight up and down over the canal then fairly level. First viewing platform and several hides are close together, second viewing platform is some distance further on.
Avalon Hide is on the left over the canal just after the first viewing platform, it can be muddy/slippery to get to if wet plus the hide has around 12 steps up into the hide – hand rails on both sides.
Ham Wall is a really good place to see Starling Murmurations, as is Shapwick. Call the starling hotline before you go (07866 554142) to find out where the birds were roosting on the previous day.
- Starling numbers are greatest in December and January, as many of the birds are migrants from the colder areas of Northern Europe. However, large numbers of birds can turn up from the end of October right through until the start of March.
- Arriving before 3:30pm will ensure that you catch the spectacle but the starlings tend to return earlier when it is cloudy; and stay out longer when it is brighter to take advantage of extra feeding time.
- Visit the Avalon Marshes Partnership website for more information on the Starling Murmurations and the surrounding area.
February 2020. The February meeting was at Ham Wall, where we saw a total of 43 different species, including kingfishers, marsh harriers, and both pintail and pochard ducks; and we heard a further four. Although we did not see a bittern, we did hear them booming – a wonderful sound!
November 2019. Our November meeting was to Shapwick Heath and Ham Wall. We saw a good total of 42 species plus two that we only heard. In a way, our highlight was a white stork – although later we discovered that she was Daisy, an escapee! A good sighting, nevertheless.
March 2019. Our March meeting was to Ham Wall. We had a good day with 43 different species being seen. The highlights were hearing the Bitterns Booming and a pair of Garganey Ducks were also seen with excellent views of the drake showing his distinctive heavy eye stripe.
The Site is owned and managed by the RSPB. email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel.: 01458 860494