Shapwick Heath

Mute Swan at Shapwick Heath, Somerset

In early February the undoubted stars of the show are the Starlings coming into roost at sunset.

With approximately 500,000 birds swirling around murmurating in an effort to confuse the Peregrine’s, Sparrowhawks and Marsh Harriers it really is a spectacular sight. The sound of hundred of thousands of wings being beaten as the birds fly overhead is incredible. Unsurprisingly trying to record it on a mobile phone camera was only partially successful. It really is one of those moments that needs to be experienced.



Coot at Shapwick Heath

I don’t know why but somehow I’d forgotten just how bizarre the large, scalloped toes of a Coot are. With the lobes folding when the foot is moved forward it really is a remarkable adaptation that allows the Coot to swim efficiently through weedy water.

There was plenty of other birds around but with Shapwick being extremely dog unfriendly (even banned from the public footpaths) we didn’t have chance to explore the reserve. Hopefully one day we’ll return.


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