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During our Kids Safari and picnic at West Sedgemoor, we found lots of flowers, insects, spiders and a toad for children to find out more about! While we had our picnic, 10 buzzards had their own picnic feeding on insects while a local farmer turned hay in fields near us. We also had great views of family groups of yellow wagtails perching near to us on gate posts - watching us watching them!
Everyone enjoyed their trailer ride to the beautiful hay meadows of West Sedgemoor.
Posted by Becky H, Assistant Warden
A beautiful, still evening last Saturday provided us with great opportunities to listen to curlew trilling out their bubbling display call. We had ten visitors in attendance, and most of them saw at least three curlew during our walk. We were also able to hear the short but sweet song of the Lesser Whitethroat, with two different birds heard during our walk. We also stumbled across an abandoned nest of a pheasant with several bluish eggs still visible.
Our hay meadows were awash with yellow - cowslips by the thousands! And just emerging with their delicate flowers were tiny Green Winged Orchids, amongst the swathes of cowslips. This flower is purplish pink and gets its name from the two petals that fold out either side of the main flower, and have thin green, striped veins across them.
Green winged orchid - Photo: Max Thompson
Photo by Max Thompson, one of our very own Somerset Reserves volunteers, which he took on the walk on Saturday evening! It is a close up of the green veins on the Green Winged Orchid. He took a close up macro photo once I had pointed out the identifying features of this orchid, ie the green veins on the side petals.
A badger also trundled across our path briefly, as we approached another field brimming with cowslips. We also had some great views of a roe deer buck, keeping a safe distance from us, then disappearing swiftly across the fields.
The climax of the evening was the haunting, bleeting sounds of displaying snipe, high above us at dusk. They came so close to us, their display was easy for everyone to hear. Male snipe fly high in the sky, then turn and dive downwards, opening out their outer tail feathers, and as they plummet, their feathers vibrate, creating this wonderful sound! It seems to work for the females! West Sedgemoor is a very important place for breeding snipe, and in some years we have had over 90 pairs breeding here.
Becky Thorpe, Assistant Warden - RSPB West Sedgemoor, Swell Wood and Greylake Reserves.
Posted by Trish Harper
As the winter slowly sets in our Winter Walks are now starting at RSPB West Sedgemoor , which take you out to view the birds across the reserve. On Thursday 8th November on one excursion Marsh harrier, Sparrowhawk, Hen harrier, Peregrine, Buzzard, and Kestrel could all be ticked on the raptors list, while Wigeon, Teal, Mallard, Lapwing, Golden plover, Snipe, and small numbers of Pintail, added to the bulk of numbers. Added to this, and the highlight for many, was the flock of Cranes which flew over, made up of this years and previous years releases of The Great Crane Project.
Booking is essential for these walks! For more information contact the Events Booking Line by phone on 07774 620879 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. All our events are also listed online at www.rspb.org.uk/westsedgemoor and www.rspb.org.uk/greylake.
Posted by Dave L, Osprey Information Assistant
Grid reference: ST3925 (+2km)
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