Black-headed Gulls

Two adult gulls were enjoying a spot of sun bathing when this first winter juvenile decided to drop in.

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Early Morning at Cheddar Reservoir

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This beautiful Great Crested Grebe was hunting very early on Sunday morning. The reservoir, and much of the Somerset Levels, was covered in a thick blanket of mist which muted sound and reduced the light to an almost monochrome state. We sat as close as possible to the waters edge and watched this one diving for breakfast, hoping that it might surface with another pike. Sadly the best it could find was a couple of minnows.

Little Egret at Steart Point

We spent Sunday wandering around the Somerset levels with the dogs and ended up at Steart Point National Nature Reserve on the south western edge of the Severn Estuary, below Bridgwater. The reserve consists largely of tidal mudflats and saltmarsh, sandflats and shingle ridges and is home to large numbers of wintering and passage waders and waterfowl.

We had not set out with a specific plan and so arrived late in the day and at low tide so the feeding wildfowl were far out on the mud flats and impossible to observe properly. This was our first visit and so we decided to quietly explore the area; discovering in the process enormous quantities of blackberries, something our Labrador Will is partial to, and finally settled in one of the hides overlooking the mudflats to watch for passing bird life. The dogs are well trained and settled down for a nap whilst we stared out across a vast empty landscape.

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Far off across mudflats we noticed a Little Egret hunting. It ducked, hopped and spun as it hunted fish. The distance from the hide was considerable and the light was beginning to fall so these are not of the finest detail, but I offer them simply because the bird was beautiful and alone in the landscape.

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