I decided it was time for some more good birds back in the UK, so I headed down to Somerset in the mist, on the morning of the 2nd. Arriving in the car park at Steart at about midday, I headed towards the Stockland Marsh. An immature Merlin flew low over the fields in front of me, giving brief but good views, and two Greenshank were seen flying over the fields.
I arrived at the sheep fields at the western end of the reserve, where a Cattle Egret had been reported for the last few days. The bird was still present, and showing well (if a little distantly) in a field on its own.
Strangely it was away from the sheep and cattle in the adjacent field, where there were a few Little Egrets present.
Next I headed for Burnham-on-Sea where I hoped to see the reported Lapland Bunting and Water Pipits. Unfortunately I saw neither, with the only birds seen being Rock Pipits, Skylarks, Chiffchaffs, Goldcrests and Long-Tailed Tits.
Two days later on the 4th, I was in my room in Swansea and glanced out of my window to see a female/1st-winter male Black Redstart on the roof only a few metres away! Despite the surprise, I managed to grab a few record shots before it disappeared:
A nice surprise on a dull Swansea afternoon.
Later, I visited Blackpill to see the roost. There was plenty about, with the highlights being Little Egret, Knot (2), Shelduck (2), Peregrine, Mediterranean Gull (30+), Great-Crested Grebe (20+), Common Scoter and Greenfinch.
Not a bad couple of days!