Somerset Ornithological Society - Bird News
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Steart Marshes - 25 October 2015

Steart Marshes - 25 October 2015 (afternoon)

1 Merlin - probable female rose up from the marshes and flew around before landing in Willows at the edge of Steart village. Later a female/juvenile type flew in low and landed on the marshes. Remained for 15 minutes and then flew off low, chased a Meadow Pipit unsuccessfully and disappeared towards Otterhampton Marshes.

2 Peregrine - adult (female?) perched on a favoured pylon. Later a juvenile (female?) rose up from the marshes as a Marsh Harrier flew nearby. The falcon lightly harried the hawk and then hung overhead as if escorting it away. It remained and soared around high for 15 minutes before executing a power-flying attack at something but was lost to view. Later the juvenile was seen flying around semi-hunting before landing on the ground out on the marshes.

5 Kestrel - perched and/or hover-hunting.

5 Sparrowhawk - the leucistic hawk was seen on and off over a 90 minute period hunting out on the marshes, frequently perching out of sight. A juvenile (male?) soaring above Catsford Common was mobbed for several minutes by a corvid. An adult female circled around for ten minutes above the marshes before stooping at 45 degrees to attack Starlings unsuccessfully. Later a pair were seen soaring very high together for ten minutes being mobbed by a corvid above Stert Point.

1 Marsh Harrier - adult female appeared from the West and remained on the marshes for at least 30 minutes, initially mobbed gently by a juvenile Peregrine.

12+ Common Buzzard - eight circling together above Otterhampton and singles soaring in other directions.

3 Short-eared Owl - appeared in late afternoon sunshine and quartered the NE area of the marshes, including the adjacent bank of the River Parrett.


1 Great White Egret - present on the marshes all afternoon.
20+ Little Egret
2,500+ Dunlin
325+ Golden Plover
200+ Avocet - flying above the River Parrett on the incoming tide.
250+ Lapwing
200+ Black-tailed Godwit
2 Greenshank - feeding on the marshes in front of the Viewing Screen.
25+ Redshank
1 Spotted Redshank - flew in and landed in front of the Viewing Screen.
10+ Common Snipe
8+ Grey Heron
40+ Skylark
30+ Meadow Pipit
1 Stonechat
10+ Long-tailed Tit

3 Roe Deer
2 Hare