Great news! Great bird.

Bank Holiday Monday.

So much to do before going out to friends for a barbeque.

Cut the grass, tidy the house, do the dishes, big pile of ironing….

Or pop down to Shapwick to try and spot the Osprey that had been reported between there and Westhay over the past few days?

I mean, what are the chances?

These rare birds are never there when I turn up a few days after they have been reported.

Mind you, there were those Grey Phalarope last year, and the Bewick Swans on Aller Moor…

Sod the ironing, I’m off with my binoculars. It is a Bank Holiday after all.

I walk along the track to Noah’s Lake and see four Little Egrets and one Great White Egret roosting in the willows with a female Marsh Harrier overhead - nice, I think. Typical morning on the Levels.

A kingfisher zips past along the drain.

Opening the door at the top of the stairs at Noah’s Hide I find it rammed with birders; cameras, scopes and binoculars all pointing at the dead tree which stands directly in front of the hide.

Happy birders

Happy birders



Right in front of me.


I sit gobsmacked for 25 mins watching this perfect specimen preening.

The bird seems settled, so I have time to try and get a photo on my phone through my telescope. Final result not too bad - even though I say so myself.

I wonder where it came from?

It could be from Rutland or North Wales, or indeed one of the Scottish birds I recently watched wheeling over the Findhorn estuary a few weeks ago, whilst enjoying a pint sitting outside the Kimberley Inn. Now that’s what I call birdwatching.

Wherever it was from it was being made most welcome from Somerset’s birdwatching community.


Osprey at Noah’s Lake, Shapwick

Osprey at Noah’s Lake, Shapwick

Graeme Mitchell