A few days with friends in the deepest depths of rural Somerset down on the Dorset border proved to be very interesting, even though Birding was not on the agenda. With no light 'pollution', Star gazing was very rewarding with my host pointing out constellations and galaxies I'd hardly heard of. We had a trip to the seaside for breakfast on the beach at Burton Bradstock followed by a walk to West Bexington along the beach. We saw 8 or so Wheatear and 3 Stonechat as well as several Painted Lady and Clouded Yellow butterflies.
Clouded Yellow on Chesil Beach
Painted LadyDespite the big fall of goodies down the East coast nothing unusual seemed to have found the South coast as yet.
The next day we had a trip to the Somerset levels and stopped at Shapwick Heath N.N.R. I'd never been to this particular location before. As we got out the car a Hobby was feeding high over the car park, but it was the lagoon which yielded an impressive variety of species with Glossy Ibis, Little Egret, Black tailed Godwit, Greenshank, Curlew Sandpiper, Ruff and Water Rail. Further on at Noah's Lake was a distant Great white Egret and an Osprey soaring high over the water. For good measure a Bittern flew over the reeds just the other side of the main ditch as we made our way back to the car. A very rewarding visit.
Shapwick Heath N.N.R.We stopped at Glastonbury on the way back for an organic sandwhich and an organic cup of Tea. Fair trade of course. Sixty year old ex hippies or would be ex hippies wandered the streets searching for enlightenment before clambering back into their Range Rovers. Whatever floats your boat I say. I'd had a great day and I hope they had too.