Somerset’s Autumn migrants
2 NIGHT PACKAGE
Available dates - 19-21 September 2019 - Tour fully booked
Summer in Somerset is not quite over; warm days can still be the norm, however the birds from the high arctic are already on the move and passage migrants are streaming down the British coast stopping over on our river estuaries, reservoirs and marshes to rest and refuel on their journey south. On the coast there are redshanks galore, thousands flying in tight groups similar to our winter starling murmurations as they twist and turn. Swallows and wheatears are passing through with the occasional rarity - just ask Stephen about the time he saw a red-backed shrike (?!) The Scandinavian race of black-tailed godwits (redder in colour) are regulars along with very large numbers of turnstone, dunlin and shelduck. This time of year is migration in action.
Arrive Walls Farm by 1.00pm and settle in to your comfortable cottage accommodation and perhaps have a sandwich lunch (not included).
At 2.00pm we will head down to the River Brue estuary for an introductory walk along Somerset’s forgotten coast. Many wading birds will be passing along the coast with flocks of goldfinch and linnets feeding on teasel heads, with swallows and skylarks overhead. You just never know what might pass through at this time of year.
Welcome dinner with canapes and wine prepared by Kay and served in Walls Farm. Stephen will join you for supper and to brief you about our planned birdwatching excursions.
Breakfast in your cottage – cereal, muesli, yoghurts, bread, with home-made preserves will be provided in your accommodation for you to prepare.
This morning we will head over the Somerset Levels to the RSPB’s flagship reserve at Ham Wall. Here there will be a great variety of wildfowl and wetland birds. Both great white and little egrets will be around with the possibility now of cattle egret too. Marsh Harriers will be with their youngsters and if we get lucky there mayl still be the chance of seeing hobbies with their young in tow before they head south for the winter.
A pub lunch will be included as part of the afternoon’s birdwatching plans including a visit to RSPB Greylake reserve and into West Sedgemoor the home of Somerset’s crane population. Cranes are indeed large birds, however they can be jolly difficult to spot - but we will give it a go and scan across these wide and wild wetlands
We will return to Walls Farm early evening in time to relax and chat about the bird sightings we have seen.
The evening will be free to either self-cater in the cottage or to go to a local pub/restaurant. Transport to and from local hostelries can be arranged at agreed times.
Breakfast is in your cottage – fresh eggs, bread muesli, yoghurts, home-made preserves all provided.
Morning birdwatching to a local reservoir with a good history of autumn migrants turning up - grey phalarope, great northern diver have been regular returning autumn birds. We will also check out a local ancient woodland and heathland with wonderful views over the Somerset Levels.
We return to Walls Farm by 12.30pm when it will be time to depart and head for home. (lunch not included)
Upcoming dates for the ‘Somerset’s autumn passage migrants’ 19-21 September 2019 - Tour fully booked
2020 dates to be advised
£399.00 per person (sharing a twin room)
Single room supplement £40.00
Things to remember
While most of our bird walks will be on good paths, sometimes we will go ‘off-piste’ or go through wet grass, so please bring suitable footwear (hiking boots or wellies). Wet weather gear is recommended – a waterproof jacket and over-trousers. It is unlikely that any one single walk would be more than a couple of miles.
Please bring your own binoculars (8x32 are ideal) we have some spare pairs however please advise if you require use of these. It is not essential to have a telescope. Both Stephen and Graeme have top of the range Swarovski telescopes and where appropriate we will set one or both up if we want to zoom into a particular bird or flock. In many ways it can be more of a hindrance if our whole party is fiddling with telescopes and not enjoying the moment.
Cameras and telephoto lenses again can be cumbersome however this is very much up to the individual to carry and look after themselves, but please note this is not a photographic holiday.
Walls Farm has a lovely heated indoor swimming pool, if you would like to use it please ask if it is convenient and understand that the pool is never supervised and is used at the individuals own risk.
Expert ornithological guiding throughout
Teas/coffees and additional refreshments as stated on your confirmed itineraries
Entrance to all birdwatching sites
On all tours it is expected that Stephen Moss will be the expert Ornithological guide ably assisted by Graeme Mitchell a keen and experienced birdwatcher.
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