We met at 8:30am in the centre of Crewkerne, Somserset and drove to a site just north of Wells where we hoped to get a rare sighting of a Tree Sparrow. It was very cold as we walked the track to look for the bird but the sun was warming us up. We had great views of Bullfinch, Fieldfare, Raven and lots of common species before we had our one and only brief sighting of the sparrow, but still, that was enough.
Next we drove to Chew Valley lake and took a visit to the Stratford Hide where hundred of birds could be seen. The best of which were Slavonian Grebe, Pintail, Goosander, Goldeneye and a male Sparrowhawk flashing by. There was also good numbers of Teal, Wigeon, Common Pochard, Tufted Duck, Shoveler, Gadwall, Gt Crested Grebes and Common Coot. On the shore we found lapwing, Dunlin, Linnets and Meadow Pipits.
Lapwing - used to be called Green Plover - see why?
We ate our picnic lunch in the car whilst watching a party of Long-tailed Tits, we then moved on to Cheddar reservoir passing through the famous gorge on the way. The water was quite low but there was still a huge concentration of wildfowl and gulls. We picked out two Whooper Swans amongst the many Mute and we soon located our target bird the Red-necked Grebe in the distance. We walked a fair distance round the perimeter of the reservoir to get a better view and on our return we found the other 'goody' a Red-breasted Merganser.
A fitting end to a lovely day out in Somerset.