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Sunday, October 18, 2009


These photographs were taken by Lynne Newton.

(Visit to see her photographs at

They show the kind of images that can be seen on a good day and with a bit of luck. Being wild animals of course there are no guarantees for your visit. A clear sky is important for the best aerial display. I have just checked Lynne's web site and I should have done so first because she has published photographs taken at Westhay on 14th October2009 , so for the latest information go to her web site at this link Now read the post I had composed 10 minutes ago!!

Here's a quick update on the annual starling show.
Living a few miles from Westhay and Ham Wall reserves we always see the local starlings starting to fly over to their traditional roosting sites. We have already seen small groups in mid October.

The SWT usually provides information on the where and when they can be seen but there is nothing posted on their web site today. A search of their web site produces last years information including a Starling Hotline telephone number. The number has been run by the RSPB in the past but checking it today gives the message : "this hotline is closed ". So not much help there.

What I recommend is to call the normal office telephone numbers shown below and ask for the latest information.
It is a little early yet for a good display which I am told is at its best later in the winter after migrant birds have come to the UK from more northern latitudes. Maybe climate change or even random variations in temperature will delay the migration pattern.
Telephone numbers to try are:
RSPB HAM WALL Reserve: 01458 860494
Somerset Wildlife Trust main office: 01823 652400

Hedges and Verges --Somerset Wildlife Trust protest

I missed this news item shown on the SWT web site in September but as it's an important wildlife issue you might like to see it here. The full news report is on the SWT web site which you can see by clicking on the link below ( Somerset Wildlife Trust).

Somerset Wildlife Trust: "28 September 2009

Leave the roadsides and hedges alone!

This autumn, leave the roadsides and hedges alone! Today, Somerset Wildlife Trust is asking why Somerset Highways is damaging roadside wildlife?

Somerset Wildlife Trust members have reported that during September, Somerset Highways contractors have been over-flailing roadside verges, trees and hedgerows, damaging valuable wildlife habitat and leaving an unsightly mess.

Lisa Schneidau, SWT’s Leader of Living Landscapes, said: “This is the wrong time of year to cut hedges and roadside trees. It leaves no food for wildlife over the winter and damages wildlife habitat that is valuable for birds and small mammals"