• Recent news and sightings from RSPB Ham Wall - 07.01.2022

    Firstly, Happy New Year everybody. I hope you had a rested, safe and peaceful Christmas. I'm sure you are all looking forward to what the reserve, and the Avalon Marshes in general, has to offer this year and what surprises may be in store.

    It has been remarkably mild in general, with just the last couple of days feeling more wintery this week. People are remarking on hearing bird song and seeing some birds prospecting…

    • 7 Jan 2022
  • Ham Wall Christmas opening hours

     Ham Wall Christmas opening hours 

    The reserve, toilets and car park will be open throughout the festive period.

    The Info Point, refreshments and Robin Robin trail will be closed on the following days:

    • 24 December – Christmas Eve
    • 25 December – Christmas Day
    • 26 December – Boxing Day

    We hope you are able to enjoy the reserve safely over the whole of the festive season and that you have a Merry Christmas…

    • 20 Dec 2021
  • Recent Sightings and News from RSPB Ham Wall: 17.12.2021

    Another week has flown by at Ham Wall. I'm sure you are all starting to feel a bit more festive as we get closer to Christmas. If you feel a visit to Ham Wall coming on we will be open throughout. However, the car park buildings will not be staffed from 24th to 26th. Be aware if visiting for the starling murmuration the period between Christmas day and New Year can be very busy so be prepared to come early or leave it…

    • 17 Dec 2021
  • Recent Sightings and News from RSPB Ham Wall - 10.12.2021

    Some pretty nasty weather through this week with Storm Barra making a bit of a mark. Thankfully the reserve got off pretty lightly with just a couple of trees down. Not surprisingly there were very few visitors around at times although one or two brave souls were out and about. It gave us a bit of heart as we donned chest waders to erect a small floating raft in Loxtons (on Tuesday during wind and rain), with the help…

    • 10 Dec 2021
  • Celebrate your inner Robin on our adventure trail this Christmas

     Credit Aardman/Netflix).  

     We’re delighted to be partnering with Netflix and Aardman on Robin Robin, a half-hour, stop-motion, festive story for the whole family, about a young robin trying to fit in. It’s debuting on Netflix on 24 November – get the date in your diary! 

    To celebrate, we’re inviting you to join exclusive Robin Robin-themed adventure trails right here at Ham Wall this Christmas season. 

    Over 30…

    • 12 Nov 2021
  • The Starlings are back and RSPB Ham Wall is too

    UPDATE (Dec 2021): Travel Somerset have announced that from 4 January – 1 April the road between the reserve and Ashcott will be closed. This means that access to the reserve will only be from the Meare side. The road is narrow with limited turning places or passing spaces. Please DO NOT park on the road – be considerate of our neighbours, the need for emergency vehicle access at all times and other road users.…

    • 4 Nov 2021
  • Latest News & Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 03.12.2021

    Well, it's been many weeks since I wrote a blog (August in fact). We have been extremely busy on the reserve and also short staffed since Michael left the team. It has meant that reserve staff have been helping out to cover weekends at the car park and we also had the Canoe Trail events over 3 weekends in September which we also covered. Working weekends has meant taking days off in the week meaning we are also getting…

    • 22 Oct 2021
  • Guest blog: A Great White Explosion - Egrets on the Avalon Marshes

    This week we have a guest blog from Alison Morgan, (Project Coordinator for the Avalon Marshes New Colonist Monitoring Group), to provide us with the latest news on the great white egret ringing project. This is an update from a previous blog in 2019.

    Just quickly before I hand over to Alison, a reminder that our popular canoeing events are back for 2021 and start next weekend.

     Paddle around the reedbed channels with an…

    • 27 Aug 2021
  • Recent sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 13.08.2021

    As Steve mentioned last Friday he is taking a well deserved break this week, so just a very brief blog from me in his absence to cover some important notices, plus of course a few stunning photos from the past week.

    We’re very excited to say that our popular canoeing events are back on for 2021 and booking has opened! Paddle around the reedbed channels with an experienced instructor and expert wildlife guide…

    • 13 Aug 2021
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 06.08.2021

    Wow! August already - not that it really felt like it for much of the week with some dull and rainy spells. Quite a heavy downpour on Saturday from what I hear and windy at times. We had to close the Avalon Hide briefly this morning to deal with a tree which had fallen and was suspended over the track  it all went smoothly thank goodness and the hide was soon open again.

    We had a quick peep in this morning, before starting…

    • 6 Aug 2021
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 30.07.2021

    It certainly doesn't feel like the summer holidays this morning with high winds and bursts of rain but that hasn't stopped the slightly reduced numbers of visitors coming back with smiles. One couple were very happy to see a kingfisher perched at the Avalon Hide, with a supporting cast of little egrets, great white egrets, marsh harriers and great crested grebes - very nice.

     The great crested grebes with young…

    • 30 Jul 2021
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 23.07.2021

    An absolute scorcher of a week this week. The weather that is, although the sightings are pretty good as well. It's certainly been a little quieter in terms of visitor numbers with soaring temperatures the most likely factor. The wildlife has unsurprisingly also been less active although visitors are returning with smiles after their trips out. 

    Bitterns are less busy than they were although a couple reported seeing…

    • 23 Jul 2021
  • What's open at RSPB Ham Wall now that lockdown has ended?

     Welcome back! As restrictions ease further in England, we’re excited to continue to have many of our facilities OPEN for your visit! Here’s a summary of what’s available
     Car park open (5 am- 10 pm)
     Outdoor, staffed Welcome Point open 10 am- 4 pm (weekends guaranteed)
     Nature reserve trails open (dawn – dusk)
     Toilets open (5 am – 10 pm)
     Take away refreshments (10 am- 4 pm). Open weekends…
    • 19 Jul 2021
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 16.07.2021

    It's been a slightly unusual week for me. I was at work on Monday and then found out that my daughter needed to isolate for the rest of the week due to a classmate testing positive for Covid. It means I haven't been in much at all this week so I am flying slightly blind today but I will do my best.

    Perhaps one of the most obvious spectacles you will see at Ham Wall at the moment will be the fledged marsh harriers…

    • 16 Jul 2021
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 09.07.2021

    Welcome to this week's sightings blog. It's been another busy week - not only for birds but for staff and volunteers too. Survey season is now pretty much at an end but there is always plenty of maintenance work to do to keep the site looking good and access open to all users. Bear with us if some views are becoming slightly obscured eg Tor View Hide or in front of the 2 viewing platforms (VP2 in particular). By the end…

    • 9 Jul 2021
  • Recent sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 02.07.2021

    Another week has flown by on the reserve and staff and volunteers are as busy as ever. Work at this time of year generally consists more of maintenance and keeping access open and the visitor areas looking tidy, but not too tidy - it's a fine balance as we are a nature reserve and not a garden of course. Some areas we have to leave until we are certain that birds have finished breeding. It means in some places reeds may…

    • 2 Jul 2021
  • Recent sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 25.06.2021

    We finally said goodbye to the river warbler this week. After just over 2 weeks with us. The last confirmed sighting was on Saturday morning. It was great to have such an obliging rarity on the reserve in a good location for visitors too. We've had lots of happy punters and many new visitors to the reserve to see it and all the other wonderful wildlife Ham Wall has to offer.

    Bitterns have featured highly on peoples…

    • 25 Jun 2021
  • Recent sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 18.06.2021

    An earlier blog post than usual this week, I'm going camping in Shropshire with friends and our children - lets hope it doesn't rain too much. I'd also like to get there in plenty of time to set up the tent and not miss the England v Scotland match tonight. 

    It's not been Euro20 football fever just yet but a bit of river warbler fever on the reserve recently, with it being present for 2 weeks today. It was…

    • 18 Jun 2021
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 11.06.2021

    Firstly, apologies for the lack of blog last Friday. I've been taking a few days off lately what with arrangements and attendance of my father's funeral early this week. I hadn't checked my e-mails all week until this morning (bliss for most people) so it's meant I have a lot of catching up to do and working out which photographs I have to use etc. So please Accept further apologies if you have sent me something in and…

    • 11 Jun 2021
  • Viewing the rare River Warbler at RSPB Ham Wall during Covid-19

    You can never predict when a rare bird will turn up at the reserve and while we are always delighted to find rare species on site, it is particularly frustrating for both us and our visitors when they appear during a time like this!  

    Some of you are probably wondering the best way to see the river warbler safely during Covid-19 as well as where to go when you arrive, and some may be wondering what a river warbler looks like. This…

    • 5 Jun 2021
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 28.05.2021

    Good to be back in the swing of things this week after taking some time off last week. Thanks to Ali for filling in with an excellent blog. 

    Last week was a difficult week for me as my father sadly passed away on the Monday. Taking some time off really helped but I also find the solace and wonder of the reserve and company of my colleagues and volunteers a real comfort too. 

    I also seemed to notice more how life and death…

    • 28 May 2021
  • Recent sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 21.05.2021

    What a week for weather!

    Thank goodness the hides have re-opened – even if just to provide shelter from the downpours and strong winds. While the weather is annoying for us humans it’s a critical time in the breeding season. I’ve watched birds being buffeted to and fro trying to get food and fly back to feed hungry chicks, who might be getting cold and wet in the meantime as well as being hungry if food…

    • 21 May 2021
  • What's open at Ham Wall from Monday 17 May - stage 3 of lockdown lifting


      Welcome back! Following further easing of lockdown restrictions on Monday 17th May here is a summary of what is open.

     Car park (5 am- 10 pm)

     Outdoor, staffed Welcome Point (10 am- 4 pm, weekends guaranteed)

     Nature reserve trails (dawn - dusk)

     Toilets (5 am – 10 pm)

     Take away refreshments (10 am- 4 pm). Weekends and during the week when we have a volunteer. Card payments only.

     Picnic Area

     Hides (dawn – dusk)…

    • 17 May 2021
  • Recent sightings at RSPB Ham Wall 14.05.2021

    Not the best week, weather wise on the reserve it has to be said. Fewer visitors, not surprisingly and a little less activity as wildlife hunkers down out of the rain. During rainy spells though insects are flying lower and this brings swifts and hirundines (swallows and martins) much lower too. Yesterday, at around 10am the skies over Waltons and around the first platform (VP1), was full of birds - swooping, soaring…

    • 14 May 2021
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 07.05.2021

    It's the first blog of May - surely one of the best months of the wildlife calendar for Ham Wall and many other places. Birds are still pouring into the country and many ending up at the reserve - even if many are just passing through. Ham Wall acts as a big feeding station for many birds arriving in Britain after a long journey.

    Large numbers of martins and swallows have been seen on many days this week with well…

    • 7 May 2021