• Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 14.03.2019

    Surprise! Yes I'm a day early this week with the blog as I'm not in work tomorrow. We've cancelled our volunteer days due to the weather which means I've free time today to get on with it. 

    We've been battered and blown this week with high winds for several days which seems set to continue for a bit longer. Several trees have come down on the reserve in the recent winds including 2 particularly large ones…

    • 14 Mar 2019
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 01.03.2019

    Firstly, apologies for the lack of blog over the last couple of weeks. I was on annual leave during the half term week and last week just got caught up in other work on the reserve and simply ran out of time. So I've got quite a bit to catch up on but as always when I'm in this position I'll just concentrate on the last week and throw in a few other snippets from last week as an overview.

    Well, the last fortnight…

    • 1 Mar 2019
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall 15.02.2019

    For the most part it's been a very warm and dry week on the reserve. Certainly over the last couple of days it certainly doesn't feel like February. The wildlife is responding and the signs of spring are appearing all over. We've seen leaves bursting out of buds on a few willow trees, a few butterflies have been spotted with brimstone, small tortoiseshell and peacock all seen yesterday and a lady informed me that she…

    • 15 Feb 2019
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 08.02.2019

    Firstly, apologies for the absence of a blog last week. I actually didn't make it into work due to the heavy snowfall where I live. It's left a bit of catching up to do but it's probably worth just concentrating on the last week or so anyway just to keep it relevant. 

    It's certainly been a mixed week. Snowfall did come to the reserve but this area was less affected than where I live which is only 10 miles away…

    • 8 Feb 2019
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 25.01.2019

    It's been a bit of a continued theme from last week with lots of signs that spring is getting closer. There have been plenty of incidents of birds such as coots showing a little more aggression to one another than usual - perhaps already thinking about setting up some territorial boundaries or is it overcrowding with 44 counted together in front of the first platform (VP1) alone on Monday. This could be the case for these…

    • 25 Jan 2019
  • Starling Viewing at Ham Wall

    Sadly it  has come to our attention again that over the last week that a small number of people have been accessing parts of the reserve that are closed to the public in an attempt to get closer to the starling roost despite us posting about this issue last year.

     

    The areas that these people have been intruding into are wildlife sanctuary areas, they are clearly signposted and usually behind locked gates. We purposely…

    • 23 Jan 2019
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 18.01.2019

    A very mixed bag with the weather this week with cold spells, a couple of heavy showers and a lovely mild day yesterday - almost felt like spring.  

    Some of the wildlife certainly has spring in its mind. The signs are there if you look hard enough. This week both coots and mallards have been seen mating and another sighting of a small tortoiseshell butterfly on the wing around the back of the Waltons trail on Tuesday morning…

    • 18 Jan 2019
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 11.01.2019

    Happy New year everybody and welcome to the first blog (sorry - I know it's the 11th of January already) of 2019. I trust you all had a nice restful Christmas time. 

    The wildlife on the reserve of course doesn't rest and there has been plenty going on while I was away. The reserve has also been busy with visitors - many of course coming in to see the starling spectacle. They are continuing to roost on Ham Wall each…

    • 11 Jan 2019
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 21.12.2018

    Welcome to my last blog of 2018. It's been another fantastic year for the reserve. Perhaps it didn't go all our way with the beast from the east being blamed for the loss of the glossy ibis after a prolonged stay (although one is back in the local area and dropped into Ham Wall recently), the absence any little bittern this year and the desertion of the area by the cattle egrets after last years breeding success (of course…

    • 21 Dec 2018
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 14.12.2018

    Another busy week at Ham Wall - they all seem to be like that these days. But it gives me plenty to write about. I am aiming to write a blog next Friday but then of course it will be the Christmas break so the blog will be absent for a couple of weeks. I'm hoping it will return on the first Friday of January (the 5th I think it will be - by which time who knows what will have dropped in).

    Back to this week and there…

    • 14 Dec 2018
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 07.12.2018

    Apologies once again for a missed blog last week. I had been working up at Greylake all week with our reed cutting machine and had a few mechanical issues which took up a lot of my time. Fortunately it's all fixed now and back home at Ham Wall. Some great stuff at Greylake during the week though with 10's of thousands of lapwings seen at one point with good numbers of golden plover mixed in. Peregrines flying over putting…

    • 7 Dec 2018
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 23.11.2018

    We've been very lucky in recent weeks with the weather being so mild but it's been a bit of a reality check this week with the colder spell and a reminder that it is actually late November and it should be colder. There's been a bit of a shift in bird behaviour too. Starling numbers, as expected are increasing - most likely 100,000 birds at least roosting each night. They have been pretty consistent in using the Loxtons…

    • 23 Nov 2018
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 16.11.2018

    Well, it's been a few weeks since I've been able to post anything. A work commitment scuppered one week, then I was on leave and then the community pages got a face lift but we're back now and ready to go again. Not surprisingly, there's plenty to report as always. I don't think I will dwell to much on what we missed and concentrate more on what's been going on over the past week.

    The first thing…

    • 16 Nov 2018
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 19.10.2018

    It's been another interesting week at Ham wall with some more fantastic sightings to report. There's was a particularly good day yesterday mainly due to the number of volunteers out and about first thing undertaking a bearded tit survey - annoyingly there were far more this morning in certain areas of the reserve than yesterday but I guess that's how it goes sometimes.

    One lucky volunteer got to see an otter…

    • 19 Oct 2018
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 12.10.2018

    There have been lots of great sightings on the reserve this week, so we 'll plunge straight in and get on with it.

    Water is being lowered slightly in front of the second viewing platform (VP2) and shallow water and small areas of mud are appearing. Last week this attracted a ruff which has since been seen every day this week - it even made a brief appearance at the first viewing platform (VP1) on Tuesday. Thanks…

    • 12 Oct 2018
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 05.10.2018

    Another warm week on the reserve - it's great in some ways as it's helping us access areas to cut and clear more easily and certainly easier to burn off any of the cut material that we need to. On the downside we area bit short of water in other places where we would like it. It's taking us a bit of time to move water around the site. We'd eventually like to get some water into the section in front of the 1st viewing…

    • 5 Oct 2018
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 28.09.2018

    What a lovely week it's been with lovely warm days (almost summer like at times), although the somewhat colder and crisper mornings are a reminder that is actually autumn.  The mornings may be colder and at this time some wildlife may have a bit of a lie in but when it begins to warm up the wildlife really wakes up too. Good opportunities for some more atmospheric shots. Thanks to Reg Redmore for his dewy spiderweb…

    • 28 Sep 2018
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 21.09.2018

    The weathers taken a bit of a turn the last few days and its starting to feel more like autumn. The windy weather is keeping things a little quieter and we've had fewer visitors too. Many are spending more time in the hides. Staying in one place for a while and being patient often brings benefits though. 

    A stint in the Tor View Hide for example could bring you a host of sightings. There's been a great white egret…

    • 21 Sep 2018
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 14.09.2018

    The weeks seem to be flying by at the moment but at least we are making good progress with the reed cutting work in front of the 1st viewing platform (VP1). Just another couple of sessions with our lovely volunteers next week and, fingers crossed, we'll be finished. We can then slowly bring up the water levels and create some nice splashy margins for wading birds to probe about in and areas for ducks to loaf about in…

    • 15 Sep 2018
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 07.09.2018

    It's time for another Ham Wall blog. Having been away last week it seems this week I have been overwhelmed with submissions of photos from 8 different contributors so it will be photo heavy this week and a lot less of me rabbiting on........you can all stop cheering now and enjoy the amazing shots people have sent in. Thanks to everyone who has - I will of course credit you as we go along. 

    So, where to start? It…

    • 7 Sep 2018
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 24.08.2018

    It's been yet another great week at Ham Wall with lots going on. It's not just the wildlife. We've hosted a  course on reedbed management for 2 days, had bug hunts and pond dipping events for families well attended and  and volunteers and I have been busy undertaking reed management in front of the 1st viewing platform (VP1). We've also cleared the cut reed in front of the Tor View Hide on Thursday so look out…

    • 24 Aug 2018
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 17.08.2018

    Well, it's good to be back after a week away and we finally got some decent rain although it could have waited for a week other than the one where I was camping with the kids. It has certainly given everything a bit of a lift. I've come back to find that the marsh harrier nest in front of the Avalon Hide had still not fledged. Until today we think! There has been a lot of activity there this week with both male and female…

    • 17 Aug 2018
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 03.08.2018

    We had some welcome rain this week at the reserve - although it's not made a huge impact on water levels around the site. 

    It's generally a quieter time on the reserve during August, although there is plenty to see if you look hard enough. The season has perhaps all been a little later this year so it's no surprise to see adult birds still carrying food to the last few nests. Look out also for the array of juvenile…

    • 3 Aug 2018
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 27.07.2018

    There's no let up with the recent heat wave is there? Water levels are well down but it just means we have to really think about how we move water around to get ready for our management work. It's at times like this or in times of excessive rain (and we've experienced both in recent years) that you realise just how important understanding the hydrology of your site really is. 

    We are almost ready to get reed…

    • 27 Jul 2018
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 20.07.2018

    Another week with very little rain means the water levels are continuing to drop on the reserve. You can't help thinking we may in in for a deluge at some point soon. Water levels do traditionally drop at this time of year. In some ways it may be helpful for us when we move into reed cutting season with a lot less water to move to gain access with machinery and it also exposes fresh muddy fringes and shallow areas which…

    • 20 Jul 2018