Bird of the year for me so far is the female red-footed falcon on Shapwick Heath, part of a small invasion into the country at present. The last one I saw was on Mendip 23 years ago. The bird sits in the trees to the left of the Meare Heath hide, and gives good views through a scope. The falcon has a steel-blue back and orange underparts. It's generally too distant for decent photos, although I did get some snaps of it catching an insect in flight.
There were also 3 hobbies and 3 buzzards present (adult below).
Back to Chew on the evening of 12th to listen to the loud and guttural GREAT REED WARBLER singing from the reeds north of Herriot's Bridge. Also present were 2 drake garganey, a kingfisher and a barn owl.
First garden hobby of the year flying over on 11th.
Chew Valley Lake on 10th - a drake garganey, 3 common terns, and 2 first-winter little gulls (photo below). The first real heatwave of the summer saw the cormorants gular fluttering on Heron's Green Pool.
A quiet May bank holiday - two short trips produced 2 common terns at Chew Valley Lake (4th), and hobbies, cuckoo (heard), 3 garden warblers and 3 common terns at Shapwick Heath (5th). On 6th a work trip took me to South Wales where I visited the new RSPB centre at Newport Wetlands, Uskmouth. Lots of reed warblers and sedge warblers singing here, and I had sightings of 7 bearded reedlings. Photos of the warblers below. In the lower shot of the reed warbler you can see a thread of gossamer attached to the bird's bill.
A grey heron fed in the reed bed.
The black-winged stilt was at Goldcliff lagoons (grotty photo below), together with a spotted redshank and several whimbrel. A lesser whitethroat sang at the parking area.