• Recent sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 13.09.2019

    Still a lot of birds moving through the reserve this week. A few hirundines are being seen each day with around 30+ swallows on Wednesday over the car park. Also seen was a hobby - one was also seen today over on Shapwick Heath diving low onto the water. Presumably this was picking up egg laying dragonflies but must of been fascinating to watch.

    Also, willow warblers can still be seen and heard, with one singing in the…

    • 13 Sep 2019
  • Recent sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 06.09.2019

    September is here and has brought an almost immediate autumnal feel about it (It's raining steadily as I write this). Autumn of course brings with it an increase of activity with bird life in particular as species move away from their breeding grounds to either migrate back or to find good feeding, wintering grounds. 

    Waders are always a good sign of this and we have had a nice variety visiting the reserve, particularly…

    • 6 Sep 2019
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 23.08.2019

    Plenty to report this week after a week off last week. Migrants are just beginning to get on the move a bit more after the post breeding season lull. An osprey was seen from the old rail bridge last Sunday and has been spending much of its time over on neighbouring Shapwick Heath in the Noah's hide area. 

    Waders are on the increase too and using the area in front of the second viewing platform regularly as there are…

    • 23 Aug 2019
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 09.08.2019

    Normal summer weather appears to have returned this week. It's made things a little cooler and more manageable work wise. We've managed to get started on cutting the islands in front of the first viewing platform (VP1) despite some mechanical issues delaying our start. We'll crack on with this as best we can over the next few weeks and get water levels back up again to create some nice open splashy areas for waders and…

    • 9 Aug 2019
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 02.08.2019

    July gone, in the blink of an eye it seems, and August is upon us already. Some welcome rain this week but very hot days too. There have been some quiet days in terms of visitors with the heat keeping some people away. It was great however to see so many children and parents enjoying our bug hunt event yesterday - a reminder that Ham Wall is crammed full of insects - as always the more you look, the more you see but often…

    • 2 Aug 2019
  • Recent sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 26.07.2019

    Phew! What a scorcher of a week. We had some blistering temperatures at Ham Wall this week. Many thanks to the hardy volunteers who came out to help in the high temperatures. Not surprisingly we were all soon flagging so an early finish was well in order.

    The wildlife has to cope with these temperatures as well so again, not surprisingly, activity has been much reduced - particularly in the middle of the day. Some birds…

    • 26 Jul 2019
  • Recent sightings from RSPB Ham Wall - 19.07.2019

    Late July and August are often considered quieter times on nature reserves (particularly where birds are concerned). The majority of breeding is coming to a close and many tired parent birds are recovering from the rush of activity over the last few weeks. Birds are also gathering together in large groups. An example of this is the large group of gadwall and to a lesser extent mallard in Loxtons with around 180 together…

    • 19 Jul 2019
  • Recent sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 12.07.2019

    "Anything special about?" ....It's a question we, as staff and volunteers, often hear from visitors. Yes of course! is the answer: Great white egret, marsh harrier, bitterns, .......No I've seen all those....anything special? 

    It's amazing to think that these species are not considered special at Ham Wall anymore. Sometimes it's good just to sit and enjoy these "ordinary" Ham Wall birds and think about…

    • 12 Jul 2019
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 05.07.2019

    Wow! July already - time is flying by at the moment. Another breeding season is drawing to a close and it wont be long before we are thinking about starting another season of reed cutting. In one or two places the growth is getting a little high and beginning to obscure views a little. We will of course deal with this issue as soon as we are confident that there are no breeding birds that will be put at risk by our actions…

    • 5 Jul 2019
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 21.06.2019

    Welcome to another blog from a very wet week at Ham Wall (although today looks lovely). It's meant fewer visitors to the reserve and fewer reports relayed back to us but this by no means indicates there's less to write about. There are still plenty of hungry mouths out there that need feeding from busy parent birds. 

    The car park is your first stop generally and actually you can make quite a list before you even…

    • 21 Jun 2019
  • Recent sightings at rspb Ham Wall - 14.06.2019

    I haven't spent much time out on the main parts of the reserve this week as we have continued with work on the path in the mini marshes area at the car park. Thankfully we have finished the loop after much hard work from staff and volunteers. Thanks to you all for your hard work on a back-breaking job. 

    Spending time in the car park however has its advantages. It's surprising what you can see and hear there throughout…

    • 14 Jun 2019
  • Recent sightings at rspb Ham Wall - 07.06.2019

    A bit of a miserable morning today with consistent rain showers but of course it's breeding season and there are still hungry mouths to feed so there was still a fair amount of activity this morning. I dropped in at the car park earlier and volunteer Steve Jennings was saying how birds were a bit braver and were showing well around the car park itself - most likely taking advantage of the quieter times. Ham Wall has a…

    • 7 Jun 2019
  • Recent sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 31/05/2019

    The Avalon Marshes are teeming with wildlife at the moment and Ham Wall is a massive part of that. Some wonderful sightings reported this week across the reserves with cattle egrets, cranes, great white egrets galore, bittern, garganey & even 2 black winged stilts which spent a couple of days at Catcott Lows. 

    The 2 stilts were first seen on the raft in front of the Loxtons screen on Sunday (26th) where they landed…

    • 31 May 2019
  • Recent sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 24.05.2019

    Another superb week at Ham Wall with lots of activity to report. Breeding season is in full swing and the evidence is everywhere with many young birds being spotted all over the reserve both in and around the water and up in the trees. One of the most popular spots this week has been in Central Wood (the wood near the Avalon Hide) where the great spotted woodpeckers are putting on a good show. You'll hear them before…

    • 24 May 2019
  • Recent sightings at rspb Ham Wall - 17.05.2019

    Another lovely week at Ham Wall has passed by and we've had lots of happy visitors enjoying the many sights and variety of wildlife on offer. 

    You don't even have to wander too far from the car park to see great things either. Great white egrets regularly fly over but we've also had sightings of bittern, marsh harrier and good numbers of hobby. Plenty of birdsong to enjoy also including song thrush, the call of the…

    • 17 May 2019
  • Recent sightings at rspb Ham Wall - 10.05.2019

    The weeks seem to be flying by at the moment as I find myself sat at my desk to write another blog. Luckily, at a place like this there's always something to report - particularly at this time of year. 

    May is the peak time for the arrival of swifts and hobbies and so it has proved this week with as many as 45 hobbies seen over the reserve on Sunday and swifts numbering in the hundreds over the weekend. The pace has…

    • 10 May 2019
  • Recent sightings at RSPB Ham Wall 03.05.2019

    It's a great time of year to be out and about looking for wildlife of all kinds and there's plenty to see at Ham Wall at the moment. The spring migration has continued and we saw a big influx of hobby and swift this week with many people coming back from their visit and reporting multiple sightings over 10 or more and a few reporting well over 20. It took me until yesterday to see the briefest glimpse of my first hobby…

    • 3 May 2019
  • Recent Sightings at Ham Wall - 26.04.2019

    Spring is my favourite season and the reserve never seems to let you down at this time of year. The past couple of weeks have been no exception with all kinds of weird and wonderful happenings on the reserve. It's the first blog for a couple of weeks because of the Easter break and the reserve seems like such a different place in that short space of time. 

    The vegetation is really getting going and a greener, lusher…

    • 26 Apr 2019
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 11.04.2019

    Another slightly earlier blog this week as I will be off work tomorrow. Staff & volunteers were out in force again this morning across all the sites in the Avalon Marshes for the second of our booming bittern counts. The results are in: 18 from Ham Wall with a further 4 just off our boundaries on neighbouring land, 13 from Shapwick Heath & 7 from Somerset Wildlife Trust land at Westhay giving an Avalon Marshes total of…

    • 11 Apr 2019
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 05.04.2019

    The spring invasion has continued at Ham Wall this week with the sand martins perhaps the stars of the show. Most days have seen hundreds arriving and swooping down low over the water to scoop up flies for a tasty snack. This morning they were flying low over my head as I stood near the first viewing platform (VP1) - lovely sight. A few swallows and house martins have also been spotted throughout the week. Thanks to John…

    • 5 Apr 2019
  • Recent sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 29.03.2019

    Firstly, apologies for there being no blog last week. I was poorly and therefore unable to get into work. I'm back now though - not sure about fighting fit but I'm feeling better. As always, there is plenty going on at Ham Wall and now that spring is well and truly here we are certainly seeing the changes on the reserve.

    We've had some lovely sunny days this week and there seems to have been an increase in insect…

    • 29 Mar 2019
  • 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