Shapwick Heath and Westhay

Shapwick Heath is a superb National Nature Reserve but ridiculously busy – even during the week. A bit of local knowledge would have been useful I suspect its one of those areas that rewards regular visitors who’ve got the time and knowledge to escape the maddening crowds. 

For future reference definitely a reserve where a scope is required.

   
Slow-worm at Shapwick HeathSlow-worm 
Didn’t need a scope for these. One of the benefits of a relatively cat free area is the opportunity to enjoy superb views of what is supposed to be the UK’s most common lizard.
 
Slow-worm in leaf litter at Shapwick Heath 
Superb little lizards
  Slow-worm  
I was hoping to take a decent close up of the head and eyes but unfortunately the early morning sunshine light wasn’t bright enough to freeze the movement of these not so slow-worms. 
 Round leaved Sundew at Westhay Moor
Round-leaved Sundew at Westhay Moor
Great to see a small area of bog survived the peat extraction. Hopefully now its being managed by the Somerset Wildlife Trust it’ll have chance to spread.
 
Freshwater Mussel
Freshwater mussel dragged up on a grassy bank. Also a very fresh wet trail down a nearby footpath. Unfortunately on this occasion no Otter
Dandelion clocks
Dandelion clocks – a fantastic display. Great to see them in their natural environment rather than our lawn. The following day they were gone.
After enjoying a pleasant but distant day’s birdwatching we called back to Shapwick at dusk. Unfortunately no Barn Owls this year however a superb view of an Otter crossing the road and the sight of Badgers foraging close to the car park was a great way to end the day.

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