• 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
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 25.01.2019

    It's been a bit of a continued theme from last week with lots of signs that spring is getting closer. There have been plenty of incidents of birds such as coots showing a little more aggression to one another than usual - perhaps already thinking about setting up some territorial boundaries or is it overcrowding with 44 counted together in front of the first platform (VP1) alone on Monday. This could be the case for these…

    • 25 Jan 2019
  • Starling Viewing at Ham Wall

    Sadly it  has come to our attention again that over the last week that a small number of people have been accessing parts of the reserve that are closed to the public in an attempt to get closer to the starling roost despite us posting about this issue last year.


    The areas that these people have been intruding into are wildlife sanctuary areas, they are clearly signposted and usually behind locked gates. We purposely…

    • 23 Jan 2019
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 18.01.2019

    A very mixed bag with the weather this week with cold spells, a couple of heavy showers and a lovely mild day yesterday - almost felt like spring.  

    Some of the wildlife certainly has spring in its mind. The signs are there if you look hard enough. This week both coots and mallards have been seen mating and another sighting of a small tortoiseshell butterfly on the wing around the back of the Waltons trail on Tuesday morning…

    • 18 Jan 2019
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 11.01.2019

    Happy New year everybody and welcome to the first blog (sorry - I know it's the 11th of January already) of 2019. I trust you all had a nice restful Christmas time. 

    The wildlife on the reserve of course doesn't rest and there has been plenty going on while I was away. The reserve has also been busy with visitors - many of course coming in to see the starling spectacle. They are continuing to roost on Ham Wall each…

    • 11 Jan 2019
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 21.12.2018

    Welcome to my last blog of 2018. It's been another fantastic year for the reserve. Perhaps it didn't go all our way with the beast from the east being blamed for the loss of the glossy ibis after a prolonged stay (although one is back in the local area and dropped into Ham Wall recently), the absence any little bittern this year and the desertion of the area by the cattle egrets after last years breeding success (of course…

    • 21 Dec 2018
  • Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 14.12.2018

    Another busy week at Ham Wall - they all seem to be like that these days. But it gives me plenty to write about. I am aiming to write a blog next Friday but then of course it will be the Christmas break so the blog will be absent for a couple of weeks. I'm hoping it will return on the first Friday of January (the 5th I think it will be - by which time who knows what will have dropped in).

    Back to this week and there…

    • 14 Dec 2018
  • 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