An introduction to Birdwatching
ONE DAY PACKAGES
AVAILABLE DATES: Sunday 28 April, Saturday 25 May 2019
This is a great OPPORTUNITY for the beginner or for the ‘rusty’ birdwatcher or indeed for any birder new to somerset. It will be a fun day VISITING SEVERAL TOP BIRD RESERVES ON THE COAST AND IN THE avalon marshes. We will walk through a mixture of different habitats to try and maximise the variety of birds we may see GOing AT A SLOW BUT STEADY PACE WITH EXPERT tuition throughout.
Meet at Walls Farm, West Stoughton BS28 4PP in time to depart at 0900.
Stephen and Graeme will be waiting and we shall travel in ‘Thunderbird 1’ our comfortable 9-seater van.
We will head for the WWF reserve at Steart Marshes just beyond Bridgwater. It will take approximately 45 minutes to drive to this reserve. Here we will walk to a couple of their hides that overlook tidal lagoons – good for waders such as avocet, redshank, lapwing along with shelduck and little egrets. We shall also pop to the coast to look for curlews, herons and any other passing migrant that might pop by. We will take flasks of tea and coffee for a spot of refreshment as the need requires.
Late morning we will move back inland for a look at West Sedgemoor, once home to a Saxon King and now home to Somerset’s crane population. Cranes are indeed big birds, but they also can be jolly difficult to spot – so no guarantees, but we’ll give it a go. We may even pop in to Athelney to see where King Alfred the Great ‘burnt the cakes’ en route to his favourite local pub!
Lunch will be at the King Alfred Inn at Burrow Bridge – good wholesome pub-grub to warm the cockles, and no need to take your wellies off.
Later we shall have a quick look into the RSPB reserve at Greylake, which has huge numbers of wildfowl and waders such as snipe and redshank. It is also a good place to see and hear many different warblers in the reed beds and the occasional booming bittern.
We will then cross the Polden Hills and drop down into to the RSPB’s flagship reserve at Ham Wall.
This reserve should be choc-a-bloc with wildfowl and wetland birds. Little and great white egrets should be on show along with grey heron and perhaps even the elusive bittern. There will be large numbers of duck and possible sightings of marsh harrier, however our main objective is to get into position to possibly see hawking hobbies as they refuel on insects after their long migration from Africa. These are stunning long-winged falcons and are a joy to watch over the Avalon Marshes.
We should return to Walls Farm by around 5.00pm
Sunday 28 April 2019 - Price £100 per person
Saturday 25 May 2019 - Price £100 per person
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 two or three 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.
Expert ornithological guiding throughout
All transportation in ‘Thunderbird 1’ our 9-seater van
Morning teas and coffees
Pub lunch including drinks
Entry 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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