NOAH’S HIDE, SHAPWICK HEATH, SOMERSET, October/November 2014 (Some file numbers changed April 2015 to resolve viewing problem. Apologies to anyone affected.)
This gallery has been extended to accommodate additional photographs taken on November 18 and 29. All the original photos in the gallery were taken on 2 early morning visits to the hide late in October (25 and 28) although reports and photos of similar/the same birds were common at the time. Particular interest in the birds arose because most (e.g. Great White and Little Egret, Grey Heron, Bittern, Cormorant) were showing much closer to the hide than normal and some (e.g. Mallard, Black-headed Gull, Great Crested Grebe) were unexpectedly either taking fish or taking fish much larger than normal. Theories were plentiful at the time.
By the time of the November visits the ‘fish’ issues described above were no longer so prevalent. But larger birds could still be found close to the hide. The new (November, early morning) additions include supplements to the Bittern, Great White Egret and Grey Heron photos. Also, however, I have been able to include photos taken of two further species, the Kingfisher and Water Rail. The former made a few stops and was quite close but the photos suffer from ‘twig interference’. The Water Rail(s) had also been active in the area of the hide but I failed to capture either during the two October visits. Both are not particularly easy to photograph (for me at least) and it was especially rewarding to find 3 or 4 Water Rails prepared to venture a little from the cover of the reeds.
As mentioned before, many other bird species can, of course, be seen from Noah’s Hide. The photos in this gallery deal with just those birds involved in the matters referred to earlier. However the two November visits included stops near Meare Heath Scrape to watch the Starlings. The show on the first day was stunning. By the second it appeared the birds might have moved on but a misty and red-skied sunrise compensated a little.
© David Rayner Photography