Somerset Ornithological Society - Bird News
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Steart Marshes - 31 October 2015

Steart Marshes - 31 October 2015 (morning and afternoon)

1 Merlin - juvenile (probably female) perched for an hour preening on a fence post in front of Mendip View hide. It flew off and perched on a Hawthorn tree for ten minutes before flying and landing on the ground in a tightly sheep-grazed meadow. Then spent 15 minutes hopping and swaggering about on the ground seemingly searching for invertebrates. It flew off and away low. Later, probably the same falcon, seen perched on a Hawthorn tree adjacent to the River Parrett for 30 minutes. Then flew off low and appeared to attack a Snipe but outcome unknown. Finally, probably the same bird, seen flying East over the Marshes. Joe Cockram reported seeing an adult male this morning too.

1 Peregrine - adult female, hanging around the pylon line most of the day.

5 Kestrel - hover-hunting around the marshes.

8 Common Buzzard - groups of four, two and a singleton soaring. The other hawk perched on a post.

8-9+ Short-eared Owl - individuals in view on and off all day but the warm afternoon sunshine sparked high levels of activity. At least five individuals quartering the marshes and the river bank, with an additional four operating over Wall and Catsford Commons.


1 Spoonbill - juvenile arrived around mid-day on Otterhampton Marshes before moving across to the main marshes and remaining there feeding, and later resting and preening.
25+ Little Egret
1 Great White Egret - visible on the marshes on and off all day.
800+ Lapwing
300+ Dunlin
120+ Golden Plover
100+ Black-tailed Godwit
30+ Redshank
20+ Curlew
3 Greenshank - flying around together late afternoon and landed on the marshes.
1 Green Sandpiper - flying around above the marshes calling.
2 Raven
50+ Skylark
10+ Meadow Pipit
85+ Goldfinch


Re: Steart Marshes - 31 October 2015

The Cattle Egret was showing well in the afternoon at the Stockland Grazing Marsh - along with Kingfisher, two Green Sandpipers and loads of Little Egrets. Surprisingly there was no-one else birding this area - and it looks like a fantastic area!