Sunday, 6 June 2021

River Warbler at Ham Wall RSPB in Somerset

News arrived too late on Friday for me to make the twitch down to Somerset for the reported River Warbler but I had intended on visiting Acres Down on the Saturday so I headed off thinking if the warbler was reported before I made the A303 junction on the M3 then I'd divert and that's what happened. I arrived at the RSPB car park around 6.30am and started the walk out to the reserve. I could hear the River warbler long before I got to the gathered birders and very quickly had my scope up for excellent views as it sat almost the whole time on a small bramble patch singing away. A delightful bird full of energy and hope but I fear it's efforts to attract a mate are all in vain.

River Warbler

River Warbler

The twitch (not quite sure what that is in the blue ?

Ham Wall RSPB 

Whilst watching the warbler I saw a Barn Owl, a Bittern in flight (lot's of distant boomers) at least five Great White Egrets, a Cuckoo and three Marsh Harriers.

I departed at 10am and made the very slow journey through holiday traffic to Acres Down where I climbed the hill and sat scoping for the forest for a couple of hours before walking the woods. On the walk up I had a Tree Pipit and from the view point I picked up lot's of Common Buzzard, two Hobby, three Goshawk (female and two males) and a bonus fly over Hawfinch. A Cuckoo called on and off throughout my stay. In the woods I had a couple of males and a female Redstart before finding a Spotted Flycatcher further down the track. Sadly I failed to hear Wood Warbler from the track and due to the sensitive nature of this now rare breeder I didn't wonder off the track in search. (It's reported that we now have only five pairs in the New Forest.)

Acres Down

Having made a couple of more local excursions in the week to to tick Quail at Wallington Herts and Nightjar at West Stow my year list has finally clawed its way to 200 and the life list moves to 422.

Now can that Red-necked Stint stick around until I have the motivation and energy for the trip? or will it be a second trip to the River warbler for the Jims to connect as they were unable to join me yesterday.

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