• 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
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 13.07.2018

    The hot weather continues and as expected those hottest parts of the day are quieter for both wildlife and visitors. We are picking up some phenomenal sightings as always. Probably the pick of the week this week will be the 2 spoonbills which flew over the reserve near the Avalon Hide on Wednesday. If you don't believe me here's the proof thanks to Graham Wagner who was out and about early in the day - very sensible given…

    • 13 Jul 2018
  • Recent sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 06.07.2018

    It's been another scorching week on the reserve and the wildlife is perhaps a little less willing to show itself at times - but find yourself a hide or a shady spot and wait a while and there is still plenty to see.

    There are plenty of juvenile birds showing themselves - some easier to spot than others. Many of the marsh harrier youngsters are very close to fledging. They can be seen being dropped food by adults…

    • 7 Jul 2018
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 29.06.2018

    Wow! What an absolute scorcher of a week. The hot weather is certainly taking it's toll on some of the vegetation at Ham Wall - many plants taking on a brown hue and lots going to seed. The hot weather also means that birds are far less active in the middle of the day - and who can blame them - the hot afternoons have been quieter on the visitor front too as people seek shade or stay indoors. 

    Many visitors get to…

    • 29 Jun 2018
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 22.06.2018

    Any walk around Ham Wall can bring great rewards but sometimes its good to just sit and wait. While you are waiting for that elusive bittern sighting you can enjoy many other sights and sounds of the reserve. Take time to listen to the bird song - particularly along the main path in the tree lines. If you keep quiet after a while many birds will come closer and begin to go about their usual business having checked you…

    • 22 Jun 2018
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 08.06.2018

    As always there have been plenty of wonderful sightings at Ham Wall to report and lots of happy visitors leaving having seen their first ever bittern or great white egret or delighting in the fact that they have heard a cuckoo. 

    In fact it's been quite a good week for cuckoo sightings although I have no photos this week to show for it. The car park seems to be a good place to start - more often heard rather than seen…

    • 8 Jun 2018
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 01.06.2018

    It's been another great week on the reserve and it was also nice to meet some visitors who mentioned this blog specifically to me and how much they enjoy reading it. Great to know people are finding it useful. 

    There are lots of really active birds around the reserve, although that should come as no surprise at this time of year. The great white egrets are still going strong and appear all over the reserve, although…

    • 1 Jun 2018
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 25.05.2018

    It seems I've hardly been at work for the last couple of weeks for various reasons - hence the lack of blog last week. You always notice how the place changes though - the amount of vegetation growth for example. Lots of flag iris now out too - thanks to Nicola Berry for her shot:

    The first big change was the size of the young blue tits on the nest cam in the welcome building at the car park. I thought that fledging…

    • 25 May 2018
  • Respectful enjoyment of wildlife spectacles at Ham Wall

    There is always plenty to see at RSPB Ham Wall and this time of year is no exception with the breeding season well underway and insect life starting to thrive.  Unfortunately it has come to our attention that a few visitors have been going off the marked trails to try and seek better views of some of the wildlife. This means trampling of vegetation where other creatures live and disturbance to other wildlife trying to…

    • 23 May 2018
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 11.05.2018

    What a scorching bank holiday weekend we had - the reserve was packed with happy visitors and as always there's a lot to report from the last week.

    I even popped in myself on Sunday with my kids for a quick visit (even I can't stay away from this place) and they were pleased to see all kinds of wildlife. They were particularly thrilled to see young blue tits being fed on our nest cam in the Welcome building at the…

    • 11 May 2018
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham wall - 04.05.2018

    It's been another cracking week on the reserve and the action is really ramping up. There have been vast numbers of sand martins passing through each day with people talking of numbers in their hundreds in the sky at once. Lesser numbers of swallow swift and house martins but it's still an amazing sight to watch these aerial masters. There are plenty of flying insects for them to hunt - one obvious one you will notice…

    • 4 May 2018