Last month we had a tour of the Hamwall reserve led by Giles one of the RSPB ornithologists. First we had a quick talk of the history of the reserve and its achievements followed by the tour.
Originally peat diggings the pits that were left have flooded, managed by the RSPB this has created large open areas of water with reed beds islands and paths between the ponds. We saw Pochard, Mallard, Teal, Wigeon, Pintail, Tufted and Gadwall, Canada geese and a couple of Greylag. Mute swans Coot and Snipe amongst others.
They are particularly proud of the Heron species there not only do they have Grey Heron but Little Egret and Greater Egret, which breed on site.There are also breeding Bittern here, we caught glimpses of a two.
Over the road is Shapwick Heath reserve a much older reserve managed by Natural England, this was where we saw most of the Wigeon. We all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and would recommend a visit if you like waterfowl or just a pleasant walk on the avalon marshes.
Murmurations, this is one of the best places in the UK to see Starling murmurations check their website for details [google Hamwall rspb reserve somerset] because it can get busy. Plenty of parking at £3 all day. There are toilets and an information centre where you can get a coffee. Staff are at the centre and in the car park at all times.
We also saw five Marsh Harriers two pairs flying over one of the ponds at Hamwall reserve and one in a tree at Shapwick Heath.