This three-day tour allows visits to all the best habitats and reserves Somerset offers at the peak time for bird action, including the hills and coast as well as the famous levels. All the spring migrants have now arrived and they are in full song. On a still morning, you’ll be up early to catch the dawn chorus. Cuckoos call, Bitterns boom, and warbler song is everywhere – each bush seems to offer a slightly different variation. This comprehensive tour should provide well over 100 different species – with memorable close-up views.
Arrive mid-afternoon at Walls Farm, near Wedmore. After settling in, you can use the heated swimming pool or spot the birds in the garden, orchard and around the pond, before enjoying a Welcome Dinner and looking ahead to our planned excursions.
Optional pre-breakfast walk, in a mixed woodland on the nearby Mendip Hills. After breakfast we’ll head down to the Avalon Marshes, and spend the morning exploring this wetland wonderland. Throughout the year this area will be heaving with birds: we’ll look for Hobbies hawking for insects, Bitterns flying over the vast reedbeds, Marsh Harriers displaying and hunting, and up to three species of egret. Great White Egrets now outnumber their smaller cousin the Little Egret, and we also hope to see the latest colonist, the Cattle Egret. RSPB Ham Wall is also alive with songbirds – up to nine species of warbler can be seen in a single visit – while the marshes are also excellent for insects, notably a wide range of dragonflies and damselflies. After lunch at a local hostelry, we’ll explore some of the hidden corners of the Somerset Levels, including Stephen and Graeme’s local patch, before returning to Walls Farm for a convivial supper.
Today we’ll head for the ‘wild west’ – the Quantock Hills and the Somerset coast. The beautiful oakwoods of the Quantocks are home to a trio of summer songsters – Redstart, Wood Warbler and Pied Flycatcher – while we’ll also look for Dipper and Grey Wagtail on the rivers and streams. We’ll time the tides to get the best of the exciting new WWT reserve at Steart Marshes, home to breeding Avocets and a wide range of waders and wildfowl. We’ll return to Walls Farm for our final dinner.
After breakfast in the cottage, we’ll spend our last morning visiting any sites we haven’t managed to get to already, or searching for target species we may have missed. Options include heading to the southern half of the levels to look for Cranes, visiting Stephen and Graeme’s coastal patch for migrants and waders, or simply returning to the wetland wonderland that is the Avalon Marshes. Return to Walls Farm for 12.30pm when the tour ends.
Hobbies, Bitterns, Marsh Harriers, three species of egret, Redstart, Wood Warbler, Pied Flycatcher, Dipper and Grey Wagtail, Cranes
What is included?
- Expert ornithological guiding throughout
- Dinner each evening
- Lunch on Day 2&3
- Breakfast baskets
- Teas/coffees and additional refreshments as stated on your confirmed itineraries
- Entrance to all birdwatching sites
What is not included?
- Air tickets and visa fees
- Any kind of insurance