Sunday, 20 March 2011
A really nice afternoon at the Avalon Marshes open day on the Somerset levels. Pond dipping, bird mask making and tractor rides. Took the children on a tractor and trailer ride through the Shapwick Heath nature reserve looking at wildlife. The guide said that although the tractor was loud, birds don't 'see' it in the same way that they see a person on foot and are actually quite used to the vehicle and just get on with their business. Saw a toad cross the path and several white egrets working their way along the peat diggings, bright white against the black. Saw a male kestrel noisily seeing off another male in an attempt to apparently defend it's nest which the guide explained was in the barn-owl nest box at the side of the old railway line. Also saw a number of painted lady butterflies flying fast and low among the reeds to the side of the path in the bright spring sunshine.