STEPHEN’S TOP 5 SOMERSET SPRING SPECIALS
1 GREAT WHITE EGRET: Our star species – and the proud logo of Somerset Birdwatching Holidays – is one of Britain’s greatest conservation success stories. Having arrived on the Avalon Marshes less than a decade ago, these stately herons now breed in large numbers – sightings are guaranteed.
2 BITTERN: Or ‘toasted heron’, as one local schoolboy named it. One of Britain’s most elusive species, it has made an extraordinary comeback, from 11 booming males in the 1990s to more than 50 now on the Avalon Marshes alone! We’ll keep a sharp eye out for them on the edges of reedbeds.
3 CRANE: Europe’s tallest bird – and one of its most spectacular – can be hard to track down in this huge wetland, but we’ll check out the latest reports and hope to connect with flocks in the fields around West Sedgemoor.
4 HOBBY: This elegant falcon returns from Africa in late April, when flocks gather over the marshes. We’ll keep a constant eye out for these speed merchants as they hawk acrobatically for insects.
5 CATTLE EGRET: Europe’s smallest egret first bred in the UK in 2009 in Somerset! Now flocks of more than 50 have been seen. We’ll visit a heronry where they breed.