• Bank Holiday Moth Monday - 13.04.2020

    It’s Monday again which can only mean one thing – moths!  And it's Easter Monday no less - Happy Easter everyone!

    It’s been an interesting week in our north Dorset garden.  The trap has been out on six occasions and with only one moth on Tuesday night and one moth on Wednesday night I was quite excited to get three on Friday morning.  And then it went crazy!  But I’m jumping ahead….. here’s how it all…

    • 13 Apr 2020
  • Wildlife sightings where we live from the RSPB Ham Wall team - 10.04.2020

    Well, we've made it through another week of lockdown. I hope everybody is keeping safe and well and that you have been able to enjoy wildlife in some form whether that is through social media, TV or up close and personal in your gardens or whilst taking your permitted daily exercise close to home. 

    We may feel a bit restricted at the moment, but it's focusing a lot of us on what wildlife is on our own doorsteps and…

    • 10 Apr 2020
  • In my own back yard ......and yours. Part 2 08.03.2020

    Well here's part 2 on ways to give nature a home in your garden. Remember, this comes from a complete novice at gardening  - but the information is out there. The internet is full of wonderful ideas - so now that you may have a little more time on your hands - what better time to give some of those ideas a go. 

    In the first blog we looked at feeders for birds, placement, cleaning tips etc  and remember that filling your…

    • 8 Apr 2020
  • It's Moth Monday again - 06.04.2020

    Welcome back to Moth Monday!  I’m happy to report that it warmed up a bit over the past week so I do have some new moths to show you from my garden in north Dorset.  But before we get onto those, here are the answers to last week's moth ID quiz:

    Some fabulous (and quite long) names there.  Moths can have really interesting and sometimes quite odd names, hopefully we’ll encounter some of the stranger ones over…

    • 6 Apr 2020
  • Wildlife sightings from the RSPB Ham Wall team - 03.04.2020

    Well, we've ticked off another week - my first full week away from the reserve since locking it down last Tuesday. I  have to say I am really missing the place as I'm sure many of you are too. I'm having to make do with wildlife sightings from my garden or from any encounters during the permitted exercise we are able to take each day. In fact I'm staring out of my windows now and can see house sparrows on my feeders…

    • 3 Apr 2020
  • In my own back yard .....and yours?

    Well, I've been asked to write a garden blog for the foreseeable future - given that the reserve is locked down for the moment. I thought I split it up a bit - get some sightings going like the normal Friday blog and perhaps dream about what might be going on at the reserve at the moment by sharing some stock photos. But also have a think about what we can all do to give nature a home in our own back yards - which is…

    • 1 Apr 2020
  • Welcome to Moth Monday - 30.03.20

    Greetings from north Dorset and welcome to our first Moth Monday! This is a new weekly blog about the moths and hopefully butterflies that I can find here at home, and I’ll be looking for your input too so please do get involved.

    Although I’ve been working to improve it, my newish back garden isn’t a haven for wildlife (yet). Let's just say it's lacking in plant life and there isn't even much grass at the moment…

    • 30 Mar 2020
  • RSPB Ham Wall latest - 27.03.2020

    Hi everybody - I hope this, slightly different blog today finds you all safe and well. Things have changed very quickly in the last week or so and as I hinted in my blog on Monday much of the information I gave is already obsolete - in fact it lasted just a few hours with the new Government announcements on Monday night.

    I have copied and pasted Abbie's message (our last blog post) which followed this announcement as…

    • 27 Mar 2020
  • COVID-19: Somerset reserves closures

    Following the latest clear instructions from the Government for us all to remain at home apart from a limited number of allowed activities, we are closing our reserve to visitors until further notice.

    This means we will close our car park, toilets, hides and the Mini Marshes to the public at Ham Wall and the car parks and hides at Swell Wood and Greylake. These measures are on top of the existing closure of our Welcome…

    • 24 Mar 2020
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 23.03.20

    Obviously its a very difficult time for everyone at the moment with what's going on in the world. I'm not going to talk too much about it - only to tell you that currently Ham Wall remains open to the public and the parking is free. The visitor building and toilets however remained closed now until further notice. 

    It's still okay to visit our wonderful reserve but it doing so follow government advice on social…

    • 20 Mar 2020
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 13.03.2020

    I was lucky enough to be out and about for a couple of hours on the reserve this morning. So nice to feel the sun on my face - been quite an unusual occurrence in recent weeks. Definite spring vibes everywhere I went.

    It took me just seconds to hear a booming bittern of which there are now several across the reserve.Staff and volunteers from all the organisations across the Avalon Marshes were up before dawn yesterday…

    • 13 Mar 2020
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 06.03.2020

    It certainly hasn't felt like spring this week at times but meteorological spring started on March 1st (astronomical spring officially starts on March 20th this year). Wildlife on the reserve has been responding to the extra daylight and slightly warmer temperatures at times with several species nesting already. 

    The traditional early nesters, Grey Herons, are well underway in the eastern side of Waltons and have been…

    • 6 Mar 2020
  • Ham Wall Update - 28.02.2020

    Amazingly this week, we actually had some sunshine!  Ok it was hidden in amongst the snow, hail, sleet, heavy rain and very strong winds but definitely sunshine and blue sky at some point, which was a pleasure to be out in with the volunteer work parties. Work progressed on the viewing screens along Tor View Hide path and we finished off various scrub work across the reserve, checking carefully for any early nests before…

    • 28 Feb 2020
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 21.02.2020

    Another week, another storm! This time, although Storm Dennis made things rather wet again, we didn’t have any more trees down thankfully. On Monday morning Steve was anxious to check the new viewing screen down the Tor View hide path for any damage but shouldn’t have worried, our volunteers have clearly done a brilliant job of making it nice and sturdy! The first replacement screen is almost ready for use but not quite…

    • 21 Feb 2020
  • Recent sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 14.02.2020

    We've had another busy week on the reserve this week including inspecting and clearing up some of the damage from Storm Ciara. A fallen tree along the main track and a unstable tree over the Avalon Hide path have been dealt with and are open but a larger tree has fallen across the Loxtons trail closing this loop - the other end of the trail leading to the screen is pretty flooded too, so we thought this was the best decision…

    • 14 Feb 2020
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 07.02.2020

    The weather may be a bit changeable at the moment but as I said last week there is a definite feeling of spring in the air at times - just waiting for the cold snap to drag us back into reality. In the meantime look out for the reaction of wildlife to the mild weather. 

    Bitterns are booming - one or two just weakly while others are still producing more of a grunt. Reports this week from: the Avalon Hide, distant of VP2…

    • 7 Feb 2020
  • Recent sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 31.01.2020

    Once again I find myself pushed for time on a Friday so this could well be another shorter blog this week. It's a busy time of year for us as we push to finish all the habitat management work before breeding season begins. We have a few more sessions in the Softrak machine clearing some reeds but these are being collected in bundles and will hopefully be used to thatch the round house which is being built at the Avalon…

    • 31 Jan 2020
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 24.01.2019

    There have been some very cold and misty mornings this week but thankfully very little rain. Often the sun has broken through and burnt off the mist to give us a lovely sunny afternoon -Tuesday a good example of this and Monday similarly. A tawny owl decided to sit in the trees of the wood near the Avalon Hide on Monday and sun itself for a few hours. Lots of visitors got the chance to see it which was lovely. A green…

    • 24 Jan 2020
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 17.01.2019

    Back with a more 'normal' blog this week, although the weather has been pretty atrocious for much of it with Tuesday and Thursday (yesterday) in particular a bit of a wash out. It's made sightings a little harder to come by this week but as always at Ham Wall there's something interesting to report. 

    Fewer sightings of the yellow browed warbler this week. It was definitely seen last weekend and on Monday…

    • 17 Jan 2020
  • RSPB Ham Wall update - 10.01.2019

    Apologies but this will just be a very brief update this week. The main reason being is that we felt we should take advantage of the good weather to erect a couple of barn owl boxes around the site. They have been sitting in our workshop for some time waiting for all 3 of us to be available and good weather. They are to replace old boxes which look to be on their last legs and we really didn't want to be disturbing barn…

    • 10 Jan 2020
  • Recent sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 03.01.2020

    Happy New Year to everyone and welcome to our first blog of the year. I hope you all had a great Christmas and perhaps had a chance to get out and see some wildlife in your local area or perhaps even visited the reserve.

    If you have been in recently you will have seen that water levels in the local area have been high after yet more rain over the Christmas break. The rhyne which runs through the reserve backed up as we…

    • 3 Jan 2020
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 20.12.2019

    Hi all and welcome to the last blog of 2019. We've certainly put the wet back into wetlands in the last week or so with plenty of heavy rain. Water levels are high in the local area with the River Brue full right to the brim but all the roads have remained open and levels will hopefully now begin to drop off. The reserve is open and fully accessible but there are some closures over the Christmas period I need to tell…

    • 20 Dec 2019
  • Recent Sightings from RSPB Ham Wall - 13.12.2019

    It's been a bit of a miserable week with plenty of rain and some high winds in for good measure too. It often means that wildlife tends to be less mobile but it also often gathers birds together in a few isolated places where there's a bit more shelter.

    Despite the conditions this morning there were plenty of birds on show from the new first viewing platform (VP1). Lots of Lapwing to be seen - perhaps 200 and…

    • 13 Dec 2019
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 06.12.2019

    Another week has flown by - it seems as if the whole year has gone by quickly this year. As staff we seem to be busier than ever, with a never ending jobs list. As soon as you tick one off another one appears.

    There's been a lot going on in recent weeks in particular but now with the new viewing platforms finished (VP1 & VP2), the reforming works to the west of VP1 complete and the reed cutting work from the aquatic cutters…

    • 6 Dec 2019
  • Recent sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 29.11.2019

    Another week has flown by and December is nearly upon us already. It's still been quite mild but we've had a fair amount of rain which has brought some of the water levels up a bit. It's quite noticeable in front of the first viewing platform (VP1), although the cutting of some of the reeds with the Truxor machine has opened this up a bit too. If you've been onto the reserve this week you may have seen one or both of…

    • 29 Nov 2019