We’ve had another amazing year on the Avalon Marshes in Somerset. Three trips this year to the fantastic Ham Wall RSPB and Shapwick Heath. We managed a total of 75 species over the three tours with plenty of Bittern Sightings this year, despite the rain on the second date! Hobby numbers were down on previous years but we still saw plenty on each tour. Marsh Harriers always put on a good show and were seen across the reserves on all tours. Other residents included Cetti’s Warblers, Garden Warblers, Willow Warbler, Reed Warblers, Blackcap and Great White Egrets, all seen well on every visit. Red Kites were more evident than in previous years and other Birds of Prey included Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Buzzard and Peregrine. Rarities were the highlight on the third trip with GULL-BILLED TERN and PURPLE HERON seen by the group!!

Wildfowl and waders were a bit thin on the ground, but Spring isn’t the best time for these on the marsh. Residents included Great crested Grebes (with chicks), lots of Pochard, a few Tufted Ducks, Little Grebes, Coot, Moorhen, Mute Swans, Canada and Greylag Geese, Cormorants, Grey Heron and Little Egret. A few Lapwing flew over and a Curlew was heard on the second tour.

Weather was a bit mixed this year with warm sunny days to incredible thunder storms with torrential downpours! Big thanks to all our guests on the Avalon Marshes tours this year, we saw some great wildlife and plenty of laughs! Looking forward to more tours here in 2025 – Maybe a winter one in 2024 to see the murmurations?

List of Birds

Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, BITTERN, CATTLE EGRET, Little Egret, GREAT WHITE EGRET, Grey Heron, PURPLE HERON, Mute Swan, Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Gadwall, Mallard, Pochard, Tufted Duck, RED KITE, MARSH HARRIER, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Kestrel, HOBBY, Peregrine, Water Rail, Moorhen, Coot, Lapwing, Curlew, Redshank, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, GULL-BILLED TERN, Stock Dove, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, CUCKOO, Swift, Kingfisher, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Skylark, Sand Martin, Swallow, House Martin, Pied Wagtail, Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Cettis Warbler, Reed Warbler, Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Jay, Magpie, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Linnet, Bullfinch, Reed Bunting.