The pump was put on to lower the "scrape" water level mid day Wed 29th.
4 G W. Egrets noticed the falling level and were there onthurs. morning.
There were 11 G.W.Egrets together with 10 Little Egrets present this (Fri) morning. It will take a couple more days to get down to muddy fringes and I'm pretty sure the pump won't be running over the weekend
The "scrape" water level is now down to a low level and muddy edges are available for passing waders! This Tues.p.m. present were, 150 Lapwing; 20 Blk. Wits; and 1 Common Sand Piper plus 4 G.W. Egrets and 17 Little Egrete together with sundry duck including 12 Teal and a couple of Shoveller.
A line up of 15 G.W.Egrets on the scrape this morning with half a dozen Little Egrets plus a total (eventually) of 7 Greens Sands, with a varying total of 50 Blk. Tld. Godwits. There were also a single Dunlin and a Common Sand both of which disappeared early on. Much mud now exposed!
Are there any Juveniles amongst the GWE?
No official announcement about breeeding G.Whites success or otherwise has been made as far as I know this year but we were pretty sure that two of the birds in the group were this years young! Also among the group were the two well known ringed G. Whites (ringed in 2009 in France), they are also siblings!
Today Thurs 150 Blk Wits;100 Lapwing;3 Green Sands and one Dunlin were the waders present this morning. 17 Little Egrets and a max of 4 G.W.Egrets there at any one time. A single Wood S'Piper and one Dunlin were occasionally visible from VP2 on Ham Wall during the rainy period this morning!
Blimey never realised the level had been lowered so much!
Many lapwing and Black Tailed Godwit, 1 Dunlin, 5 Green Sandpipers, 1 Snipe, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 hobby and 1 Perigrine Falcon. No GWE this evening.
11 GW Egrets on the scrape first thing, also 4 Green Sandpiper, up to 50 Black tailed Godwit and 1 Dunlin. Excellent views of 2 juvenile Bearded Tits on the edge of 70 acres.
An evening visit (Tues) saw 9 Green S'Pipers on the scrape (only 4 mid day) with a single Snipe.The 120+ Blk. Wits took to the skies at 2020 hrs. and headed off toward Shapwick village presumably to roost ( do they fly to the coast)? leaving only 50 or so duck mostly Gadwall. Many Egrets (30+) flying towards a roosting site in a beautifully coloured sunset.
A single Greenshank and a single Hobby along with all the previously mentioned species yesterday evening.
also 3 garganey and 2 ringed plover.
15-Aug-15 (mid afternoon)
2 Greenshank, 1 Wood Sandpiper, 1 Green Sandpiper, only 2 Blk-t Godwits, 1 Snipe, juv Garganey, 3 Marsh harriers, including the green wing-tagged bird, and, most surprisingly, a juv/1st winter Bluethroat found while scanning the rear reedy edge for Water Rails. Watched for 45 secs/1 min. as it quickly hopped in and out of cover along a 40M stretch of dried mud and bullrushes in the far NW corner, eventually pausing at the far LH end before flitting across the narrow channel and disappearing into the bank-side vegetation.
Tues a.m:- Woodsand 1; Greensand 2; Greenshank 1; Knot 4;Snipe 1; Blk Wits eventually 100=; Garganey 1; Ringed Plover 2 they disappeared early on! plus Lapwing 40 at one time.A single Hobby was over 70 Acres mid morning
P.M. Topped up by the arrival of an Osprey on Noah's somewhere between 1345 and 1430 which caught twice and was still chewing away when I left at 1600hrs.
Osprey still present at 17:45
The Ringed Plover were also back on the scrape when I passed by at 5.15pm.
After 4 hrs waiting the Osprey on Noah's Lake eventually took off in the pouring rain at 1350, caught a fish at its first attempt returned to the dead trees then sat for 20 mins before starting its meal. It stopped raining at 1430 so I moved to the scrape. A hurried scan showed 4 Greenshank; 4 Ruff; 2 Ringed Plover; 8 Snipe (out in the open) and 1 Wood Sand Piper, plus the usual Blk Wits , I didn't count them as it started raining again!
Per Tom Raven on Twitter, posted about 45 mins ago: '5 wood sands, 1 little stint, 3 ruff, 2 ringed plover, 3 garganey at Meare Heath'
All still present at 07:30 this morning, also a Greenshank and as I left another 3 flew in with a Green Sandpiper. The Osprey still at Noah's Lake
Little change p.m. The Greenshanks increased to 5 in the afternoon, unfortunately the 5 Woodsands left heading east towards Ham Wall mid morning and had not returned up til 1600hrs but the three Ruff were sill present.
2 Little Stint present today very different colouration between the two! ; No Woodsand ; 2 Greensands; 3 Greenshank; 3 Ruff and 107 Blk Wits; Around 110 Greylags crossed east to West over 70 Acres mid morning ( counted from photo) and the Osprey was still on Noah's til 1600 'ish.
Alan, forgive me, are you familiar with Semi-palmated Sand? If one of the stints is distinctly monochrome, would be worth considering - but perhaps you have already...
There were also 2 Garganey and two GWE's on the lagoon.
The two "stints", two of the Ruff and a Green Sandpiper had all decamped to Ham Wall by late afternoon - all viewable from the lower path through the vegetation NW of VP2 with another GWE. Two Bearded Reedlings also by the 2nd bridge across the drain.
I was trying to make the pale "stint" into an american "peep" as it appeared to have a long primary projection. However the bill looked right for "Little" (bluntish on Semi-P) and the scapular V was very distinct being less so on "Semi-P" - but I'd love to be proved wrong!!
Hi Andy, No need for apologies! No I am not familiar with Semi P! I've never knowingly seen one! One of the Stints is very much a monochrome bird whereas the other carried quite a bit of reddish brown coloration. i will look at the photos I took but their resolution is not great! Hopefully both birds will hang around for a while and others like Geoff D. will take a more discerning look. Cheers Alan.
Thanks for the extra detail, Alan. Just a classic juv Little Stint today as far as I could see. Fab birding though:
Also on the scrape, 3 Ruff, 2 Ringed Plover, 2 Green Sand, 3 Greenshank (later seen on Ham Wall), the Blackwit flock, GWEgret, 5 Garganey, plus Osprey on Noah's.
On Ham Wall, west end of 2VP, 1 Wood Sand, 1 Garganey, 1Green Sand.
Robert Kelsh (with his bionic ears) heard Beardies at the scrape and a Tree pipit over at Ham Wall.
the monochrome looking little stint was the one I found in the 19th and got me going for a while, but has classic white V on mantle which SP sand never has.
5 wood sands still present this eve. Very little mud left exposed which is not good with the next couple of days forecast to be wet.
Thanks for confirming the 2nd stint, Tom; and interesting that 4 or 5 Wood Sands managed to go missing for almost 2 days...
I didn't get to the scrape yesterday but I have noticed on previous days that the rising water level has encouraged the small waders to spend more time under the near bank and there is also the areas behind the farther island and between the strip of mud on the left and the wood where they could be out of sight for periods of the day. Interesting that there were Greenshank again yesterday as I saw three birds leave to the south on Friday and I watched them until they were well over the Poldens.
I was really alluding to birds commuting between the scrape and Ham Wall (as per yesterday's Greenshank) but yes, there are plenty of places on the scrape for a wader to hide. Keeps things interesting!
By the way, I used a plastic foot stool yesterday to gain some height when viewing the 2VP lake from the grassy canal path. I've stashed it so anyone is welcome to use it as long as they put it back:
Walk past 1VP, cross the first bridge on the left, walk towards 2VP and the stool is stashed behind the first large tree on the left.
This pm on the scrape:5 Wood sands,2 Green sands,3 Common sands,2 Greenshank,2 Ruff,poss more,3 Garganey,1 Ringed plover,7 Snipe flew up from 1st island,Blkwits,1 K'fisher & a showy Adder by the main path. On Noahs were at one point 8 Black terns,then just 5,5 Common terns & the Osprey which went & caught a large Roach over the back & gave good views when it landed. Also a GWE on scrape. A productive pm!
Due to very heavy rainfall over the weekend the water level in Meare Heath Scrape has risen dramatically. In response to this and to restore appropriate conditions for migrating birds Natural England have this morning begun pumping water into the main section of Meare Heath. We will continue to pump water and monitor water levels whilst the current bands of heavy rain persist.
On behalf of the many birders who enjoy the passage-waders on the Scrape, thanks to Simon & his staff at NE.
Just the usual Blk Wits on the scrape this morning, the Pump was running and this afternoon fringes of nicely damp mud were visible around the edges both at the rear edge and around the near island. The Osprey is still present on Noah's and caught a large fish at 1310 at it's first attempt in the pouring rain. Perhaps it didn't want to get too wet!
Despite the continuous rain this morning the scrape is showing reasonable muddy fringes. At 1300 the following were present : Blk Wits 120; Green Shank 3; Common Sands 2; Lapwing 30; Great White Egret (dark green ringed 1; Little Egret 3; flyover Bittern 2; The Osprey was still on Noah's
2 Ruff late afternoon to add to the aforementioned, 3,Greenshank still present. 3 Kingfishers, Osprey and 2 GWE also nearby.
Whoops and a handful of Garganey!
The 5 Garganey are still present today as were; 4 Greenshank; 2 Greensads; 3 Ruff: 7 Snipe;
The 130 or so Blk Wits present yesterday included a ringed individual orange over Green and Green over Orange , I have reported the details of this bird and will pass them on when I hear anything. Today there was a second ringed individual but we could only get colours off one leg Yellow over Blue I will look again tomorrow unless anyone has managed to get the full details meantime??
The Osprey is still on Noah's and there were several Swifts around this morning with lots of Sand and House Martin plus a few Swallows. A single Hobby flew over the scrape mid afternoon.
also 1 wood sand. Water level still frustratingly high.
First summer Purple Heron seen in flight from the back of Meare Heath towards Ham Wall at 1150. Also: 80+ Blackwits, 37 Knot, 3 Ruff, 3 Greenshank, 1 Dunlin, 3 Garganey, 2 Raven.
Amongst the 30+ Knot still present this afternoon, was for a change, a Red Knot actually still carrying some Red plumage as its name suggests
There were eventually 4 Greenshank, a Green Sandpiper and several Snipe on the scrape - also 1 Osprey (a second had been seen but departed) and a Black Tern on Noah's.
There were 4 Green Sandpiper, 2 Greenshank and one Ruff when I checked the scrape but 2 of the Greensand headed off South.
10am to 11am 1 Wood Sandpiper, 2 dunlin, 7 knot, 2 greenshank, 3 green sandpiper, 2 ruff plus the usual godwit, lapwing and snipe. 2 GWE made a fleeting visit.
Lunchtime today: 115 Blk Wits; 2 Ruff; 1 Greensand; 50 Lapwing; Snipe (8 minimum) were impossible to count popping in and out of the vegetation as did a Water Rail; 4 Garganey together were very visible being close to the front island.. There were 4 Black Terns on Noah's from 1030 this morning plus a Bittern and 2 Marsh Harriers; 2 other Bitterns seen near the scrape
The colour ringed BLk Tld. GodWit Orange over Green and Green over Orange we reported as seen on the scrape on the 26 July was ringed in Iceland 0n 28/04/2001 as an adult male.
Since then it has wintered in the Nederlands in 2003,several years it has summered in Iceland then wintered in Western France and in Spain.Most recent previous sighting was on 1/11/2013 at Veta la Palma, Donana S.Spain.
Being at least 15 years old it's doing pretty well. I will keep a copy of the full history comprising 60 sightings about my person for anyone who's interested
Afternoon visit yielded 2 Ruff, 3 Greensands, 1 Greenshank, circa 100 Blk Wits, min of 15 Snipe plus 60 Lapwing. One eclipsed Garganey plus Gadwall Teal,Mallard and Shoveller duck. A Water Rail was out for a while at the base of the reeds rear left! plus flyovers of Bittern, G.W.Egret and juv Marsh Harrier. A flock of 30 Greenfinches also passed heading north (they are rarities where I live in Wells.
A very rewarding visit to Meare Heath this morning 7.30-9.15.
On the scrape:
Little Stint 1
Green Sandpiper 2+
Wood Sandpiper 2
Blackwit and Lapwing numerous.
On the first Meare Heath pool/reeds.
Bearded Tit 18
Sedge Warbler 2
Bittern fly over 2.
All waders still present at midday, also a fly through Hobby that put all the birds up and what we believed to be a juv Garganey. Still a few Bearded tits pinging away with 2 seen on 70 acres and more heard in the reed bed before the scrape. An excellent morning.
Mid p.m. count yielded: Blk Tld Godwit 170 ; Lapwing 210; Snipe up to 30 in view at one time; Knot 14; Ruff 6; Greensands 3, Woodsands 2 ; Greenshank 2; Little Stint 1; Water Rail 1; 3 G.W.Egrets 3 . Plus 2 Hobbies; 2 Marsh Harriers, 4 Buzzards ; 1 Bittern, Occasional Bearded Tits over 70 Acres and a flyover of 7 Siskin!
A Scottish OSPREY (Blue colour ring) flew low overhead around 1300 today heading S.east. from photos we got the ring alpha code and it has been sent to the Highland Osprey project, hopefully we will hear back soon.
From mid am. Waders present were; Greensands 3; Greenshank 2; Ruff 2; Snipe 40+ showing at one time. Blk. Tld. Godwit 210; Lapwing around 200.
Garganey 3. Hobby2, Kestrel 1 Sparrow Hawk1 and Buzzard 4 were also noted.
Fairly normal stuff first thing this morning on the scrape (but still great!):
A few Green Sand, 2 Greenshank, 6 Ruff, 2 Garganey, etc.
No terns on Noah's and didn't get to Ham Wall.
Late morning to early afternoon today...
5 or 6 Ruff, 1 or 2 Greenshank, a couple of Green Sand, 1 Knot, 1 Garganey, 2 Water Rail, good numbers of Blackwit, Lapwing, Snipe, etc.
Tom Raven found the Cattle Egret early morning on the scrape, this from Birdguides: one from 06:50-07:15 when it flew off northwest
Ham Wall 2VP:
1 or 2 Green Sand, 1 Ringed Plover, 1 Ruff, a few Blackwit, 1 Garganey. It's crying out for a Pec Sand...