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The Somerset Levels in Spring

Tour Code: GBR17

A 3-day birdwatching holiday in search of Hobby, breeding Bitterns and other natural history.

3 days from £298(flights not included) Land Only Price: £298 SRS: £55


Spring is an excellent time for birdlife on the Somerset Levels, and this birdwatching holiday is timed to coincide with both the breeding season and spring migration. Congregations of hunting Hobbies, summer-plumaged passage waders, a riot of bird song (including 10 species of warbler!), and breeding Garganey, Bittern and Marsh Harrier may be amongst the highlights at this special expanse of seasonally inundated lowlands that spans 650 square kilometres between the Quantock and Mendip Hills. This ancient habitat, until recently the victim of drainage and other farming demands, but now restored to much of its former glory by the RSPB and other conservation bodies, is a heartening conservation 'success story'!

  • Enjoy spring birdlife on the Somerset Levels
  • Hobbies & summer-plumaged waders amongst the highlights
  • Plus breeding Bitterns, Garganey, Marsh Harriers & Barn Owls
  • Spring migration may produce a rarity or two!
  • 3-star hotel, with award-winning restaurant, beside Wells Cathedral
  • Enjoy the historic market town of Wells
  • Expertly escorted by a Naturetrek ornithologist

Food

Breakfasts and evening meals are included in the holiday cost beginning with the evening meal on Day 1 and finishing with breakfast on Day 3. Lunches are not included in the cost of this tour.

Accommodation

All en suite rooms.

Common Redshank (Paul Marshall)

Common Redshank (Paul Marshall)

Outline Itinerary Download

Day 1 Arrive Wells.

Day 2/3 The Somerset Levels; Avalon Marshes; West Sedgemoor.

A 3-day holiday in search of the spring birdlife and other natural history found on these ancient moors and wetlands. The Somerset Levels, a magical expanse of seasonally inundated lowlands that spans 650 square kilometres between the Quantock and Mendip Hills, is a conservation ‘success story’! An ancient habitat that had, until recently, fallen victim to drainage and other modern farming demands has now been restored to much of its former glory by the RSPB and other conservation bodies. Indeed the area supports such a rich variety of plants and birdlife that it is under consideration for status as a World Heritage Site.

Due to overwhelming interest in our winter short break to the Somerset Levels, we are now offering additional dates on which to enjoy the area in May. Spring is an excellent time for birdlife on the Somerset Levels, and our visit in May is timed to coincide with the hustle and bustle of the breeding season and peak migration. May is one of the best times to watch one of the area’s special birds, the Hobby. These exquisite falcons congregate over certain lakes to take advantage of the abundance of prey and it is possible to see over 40 in the air together. Elsewhere, the number and variety of passage waders depends on water levels but we can expect small flocks of Whimbrel, summer plumaged Black-tailed Godwits and a few Ruff among commoner species.

With up to 10 species of warbler present it also provides an ideal opportunity for those keen to learn some bird songs. Garganey, Bittern, Marsh Harrier and Barn Owl all breed in small numbers and we will have the opportunity to look for each of them. And, with migration in full swing, there is always the chance of something unusual dropping in. There is a very special quality to the landscape and wildlife of the Somerset Levels, and one that is hard to put into words. So why not come and find out for yourself what this magical location has to offer.

Glastonbury Tor from Ham Wall (Ed Drewitt)Naturetrek group looking for Great White Egret (Ed Drewitt)Swan and cygnets (Ed Drewitt)Blackcap singing Ham Wall (Ed Drewitt)Blackbird (Ed Drewitt)Great White Egret, breeding female (Ed Drewitt)Young Great Crested Grebe (Ed Drewitt)Common Cranes (Graham Dorgan)Great Crested Grebe and chick (Ed Drewitt)Grey Heron (Ed Drewitt)Chiffchaff (Ed Drewitt)Bitterns in flight (Ed Drewitt)Ham Wall and Glaston Tor (Ed Drewitt)Naturetrek group at ShapwickYellow Rattle meadow (Ed Drewitt)Common Spotted Orchid (Ed Drewitt)Green-veined Orchid (Ed Drewitt)Field of orchids (Ed Drewitt)Cream-spot Tiger (Ed Drewitt)Azure Damselfly (Ed Drewitt)Four-spotted Chaser (Ed Drewitt)Four-spotted Chaser (Ed Drewitt)Ham Wall at 5.45am (Ed Drewitt)Ham Wall sunrise (Ed Drewitt)
N.M.
Yorkshire
Very enjoyable weekend. The trip leaders, Ed and Dave, were very knowledgeable, enthusiastic and very helpful. In addition they have an excellent sense of humour.
G.D.
Cheshire
Guide, Ed Drewitt, was very knowledgeable, enthusiastic and total professional. Two full and enjoyable days.
Mr & Mrs G
Devon
Our trip leaders were excellent. They complemented each other and together were informative, enthusiastic and made the two days very interesting and enjoyable.
W.B.
Surrey
Every now and then, in the cold wind and feeling tired, I wondered what on Earth I was doing standing around, or hiding, in the hides, although plenty to see. Then, on Sunday afternoon the sun broke through, one of our group spotted the upright figure of a bitten (we had heard it several times) in the reedbed, brilliantly camoflaged. Just at the moment everyone had fixed its location, it took flight a short distance. You could have heard a pin drop, and for a few seconds we were all hypnotised ...
S.S.
Surrey
This was a thoroughly enjoyable mini-break - please do more!
P.G.
Devon
I had a wonderful time and got more than I expected... I really didn't expect to have so much fun or learn so much in such a short time. I will be looking for several more short breaks on the strength of this break and also a very special holiday abroad.
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DeparturesAvailableCost

Fri 4th May 2018 - Sun 6th May 2018

YES

£298

more details

Flights: Flights are not included with this tourMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are limited. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £298 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Visiting: United Kingdom

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Tom Mabbett
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01962 733051

Tour Focus

Shortbreak

Tour Reviews

Very enjoyable weekend. The trip leaders, Ed and Dave, were very knowledgeable, enthusiastic and very helpful. In addition they have an excellent sense of humour.
N.M., Yorkshire