Somerset Ornithological Society - Bird News
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Steart Marshes - 20 October 2015

Steart Marshes - 20 October 2015 (mid-morning to late afternoon)

1 Merlin (probably adult female) - located perched on the hedgerow adjacent to the River Parrett. Remained there for 25 minutes preening occasionally and then flew off low downstream above the river.

3 Peregrine - adult female roosting on pylons. Later she flew off fast NW and was seen hunting low over Stolford Beach. A few minutes later she was back on a favoured pylon feeding on a kill. A juvenile (female?) was observed in very fast horizontal flight quite high up. She intercepted an oncoming Magpie, bound to it with ease and carried it off for a few seconds. Suddenly, the falcon released the Magpie and did not attempt to retrieve it as it flew down to the ground leaving several feathers floating away on the wind. Later a probably juvenile (male?) was seen unsuccessfully chasing c85 Feral Pigeons around Hinkley Point Power Station. It flew off SW, empty-taloned.

5 Kestrel - individuals perched and actively hover-hunting throughout the day. One was seen being harassed by several Corvids above Catsford Common. The falcon rose up and moved high Eastwards away towards the River Parrett all the time being mobbed by two tenacious Rooks.

5 Sparrowhawk - the leucistic hawk was seen mid-morning soaring around quite low above Catsford Common mobbed by two Corvids. Several sightings of two juveniles hunting different parts of the marshes. An adult female flew quite high Eastwards and soared around for 15 minutes before returning back towards the main Car Park. Finally, an individual soaring high far off over Pawlett Hams being mobbed by two Corvids.

1 Marsh Harrier - a juvenile quartering the marshes for 20 minutes late morning.

30+ Common Buzzard - sunshine and light winds offered ideal soaring conditions around lunchtime with single, pairs and kettles of 8 together above Pawlett Hams and 10 above Fiddington at the same time. Later another 10 soaring above Otterhampton and at least 9 loafing around on low perches.


340+ Golden Plover
120+ Black-tailed Godwit
800+ Dunlin
25+ Redshank
2 Greenshank
3 Raven
40+ Fieldfare
15+ Redwing
60+ Skylark
35+ Meadow Pipit
1 Wheatear
120+ Goldfinch
25+ Linnet
1 Cetti's Warbler - singing adjacent to Wall Common