Monday, November 30, 2015

Autumn/ winter 2015

A much overdue blog post with a bit of an update on what i'm up to.
I spent most of the summer working in Norfolk studying the foraging behaviour of Sandwich Terns, with a couple of expedition cruises squeezed in. It was pretty full on, over the course of the whole summer I had about 6 days where I wasn't working. It was great to finally have a constant flow of bird work!
I'm now back in Somerset and working as Assistant Warden at the new WWT reserve at Steart Marshes, with studying the usage of the site by wintering wildfowl and waders as my primary concern. I'm also fitting in a few days of guiding through Avalon Wildlife where I can, and next week i'm off on another cruise, this time to the Caribbean. Mad busy, but i'm absolutely loving it, and plan to carry on like this for as long as I can!

I'm in the process of turning my Avalon Wildife site/blog into a proper website, and so this will be my only blog, covering everything, and hopefully i'll get around to updating it more frequently. For now, heres a few photos from the last few weeks. Most from Steart Marshes. This isn't a great site for photography to be honest, the strength of the site for attracting birds is its sheer size, but this is its weakness for birders and photographers, things are mostly flipping miles away:

Avocet on the River Parrett

Black-tailed Godwits



Wigeon and Hinkley Point in the background

Wigeon with a more appealing background

Cattle Egret
Purple Heron. A nice find, as was the Cattle Egret above.
Having doen most of my recent birding on coastal watchpoints
its nice to get a few waterbirds onto the self found list

Short-eared Owls put on a good show for a few weeks in early November
but have gone quiet recently

Very approachable young Merlin, which is still hanging around

Stunning leucistic Sparrowhawk which graced
the reserve for a month or so

Snipe, 100's of these on site, only really seen when we enter
the marsh and fields for work

Shoveler, this one at Greylake RSPB

Skylark. These love the rough grassland and salt marsh, hoping
to see good numbers nesting next year
Surf Scoter at Blue Anchor, I took a trip over to twitch this last week
Black Redstart at Dunster on the same twitch

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