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Steart Somerset & Bristol

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paul parsons
08 December 2020
Very confiding female Merlin.
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Site Location Details

Site location details and google satellite image for Steart

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Site Details

Steart is approx. 10 miles north of Bridgwater. It is part of the Bridgwater Bay National Nature Reserve which is approx 6200 acres in total. The Reserve consists of the Parrett Estuary, the Huntspill River and Steart Island. The coast line is low lying with a very large expanse of mud flats which are exposed at low tide. Behind the north facing coast is a shingle bank and then damp grazing fields. Over the past few years English Nature have excavated several scrapes and pools in the saltings and hides have been erected. A couple of years ago a new tower hide was built, which gives a panoramic view of the area including the mouth of the River Parrett and Steart Island. During the winter months Merlin and Short-eared Owl are present plus approx. 15000 Dunlin, 300 Grey Plover and 600 Knot. The area is a traditional moulting ground for Shelduck with around 2000 birds present in late summer. High tide visits are recommended as the waders will then be concentrated into their roosts in front of the hides. The River Parrett flows into the bay at Steart Point and during times of strong westerly winds in autumn sea birds often take shelter in the mouth of the river. The area can appear very bleak in winter and at the wrong time of the day very few birds may be seen. It is however usually worth a visit, although unless a rarity is present very few other birders will be seen.

Local Weather

Birding Sites in the Steart Area

Additional Site Details


From Bridgwater take the A39 west, signposted Minehead. Leave the A39 at Cannington and take the minor road to Hinkley Nuclear Power Station. Steart is signposted off this road.


Visitors must keep to the footpaths. No access to Steart Island.


Visitors car park approx. 1/4 mile before the end of the road.

Opening Times

Always open


Six hides, two log books but no toilets or Visitor Centre. No telephone.

Key Areas / Routes

Go through the gate at the end of the road and follow the track to Steart Point. The hides are easily visible especially the tower hide which looks like a Wendy House!

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The BirdGuides Team.

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British & Irish Records Archive Steart

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