• 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
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 22.11.2019

    Thanks to Ali and Alison for filling in last week with a great blog. I'd spent much of the week at Greylake helping the team there by managing the reed beds with our Softrak machine. I had a kestrel for company for much of the time I was working, following the machine which was wonderful. Was also great to see large flocks of golden plover and lapwing passing over probably about 1000 of each. Once the water levels are…

    • 22 Nov 2019
  • Reserve team update plus great white egret project and recent sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 15.11.19

    It’s been rather chilly this week at Ham Wall and we even had some sleet here yesterday, while some dedicated volunteers actually drove through snow to get here for their work party.  Steve C has been busy working for our colleagues at RSPB Greylake with the Softrak machine this week so I’m taking over the blog again and in fact it’s a double takeover! 

    If you’re a regular reader and/or if you’ve ever…

    • 15 Nov 2019
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 08.11.2019

    Autumn and winter are busy times for staff and volunteers on the reserve. It seems as the years go by and the reserve has grown and evolved so much that we get busier still with extra visitor facilities that have appeared in recent years including the car park and toilet block and the surrounding paths and pools, plus the Tor View Hide and Avalon Hide and the paths leading to them. On top of this of course we have all…

    • 8 Nov 2019
  • Recent sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 01.11.2019

    The colder/damper weather is becoming the norm at the moment as we move into November. Colder nights have brought a frost to some parts. Some hardy dragonflies are still holding on though with common darter (pictured - thanks to Giles Morris), ruddy darter and migrant hawker all seen this week. Worth looking out for red admiral butterflies too feeding on the late nectar sources on the reserve such as ivy. 

    This time of…

    • 1 Nov 2019
  • Top Tips for visiting the Avalon Marshes Starling Roost

    Here are some of our top tips for getting the best out of your visit to watch the Avalon Marshes starling roost. Starling murmurations are a true wonder of the natural world and the Avalon Marshes are one of the best places in the UK to come and wit...
    • 31 Oct 2019
  • Recent sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 25.10.2019

    It seems that we have perhaps seen the last of the hirundines for this year. I haven't seen any over the reserve this week. It definitely seems to have turned colder too, although there have been some lovely sunny spells once the early morning mists have dissipated. The misty early mornings make the reserve a much more mysterious and ancient looking place. It's times like this when knowledge of bird songs and calls helps…

    • 25 Oct 2019
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 18.10.2019

    It can be quite an interesting time on the reserve during October. You can still see the tail end of the summer visitors as they migrate south but you begin to get that build up of winter birds too.

    Swallows and martins can still be seen over the reserve but not in any great numbers now and several skylarks (13 yesterday) can be seen heading south. On the flip side we are seeing a slow build up of teal and wigeon and…

    • 18 Oct 2019
  • Recent sightings from RSPB Ham Wall - 11.10.2019

    Finally! I'm back at my desk on a Friday to bring you the blog after a 3 week break. Apologies for my absence - other work matters have taken a priority as we try to catch up with some of our reed cutting work after mechanical issues with our Softrak machine caused us some delays. 

    Thanks to Ali and Abbie who have filled in for a couple of weeks with news and a few sightings from the reserve. The spoonbills have moved…

    • 11 Oct 2019
  • News from RSPB Ham Wall

    Steve unfortunately hasn't had time to write a blog today as he has had to lave early. This means that I am taking up the reigns today to give you a quick update on the visitor side of things happening at the reserve (Steve will hopefully be back at the reigns next week). 

    Weekend Work Party Location

    The work party will be out this weekend on Sunday 6 October and will be working in Waltons between 9:30 am and 3:30…

    • 4 Oct 2019
  • Reserve team update and recent sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 27.09.2019

    As always it’s a busy time here at Ham Wall, so busy that Steve is out in the Softrak today cutting reed rather than blog writing (we’re a bit behind due to mechanical issues early on and bad weather not helping!)  I’m therefore taking the blog reins for today to provide a brief reserve team update, exciting bearded tit news and some sightings highlights from the week.

    Habitat management

    Reed cutting work…

    • 27 Sep 2019
  • 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