Saturday 1 November 2008

2 Bitterns

Despite it being technically warmer today than earlier this week (snow, in October!) it didn’t feel it, and the walk to the hide at Upton Warren was a chilly affair. Still, I got a warm reception as my ‘tog friends Ian and Ken were sat inside, hoping for luck with the bittern.

Within moments, Ian spotted it flying from right to left, towards the car park end, and we watched it crash down into the reeds. Then, rather surprisingly, a second one headed that way too. So there are 2 bitterns on the reserve! Splendid.

The kingfisher made the odd appearance, but not much else was around, unfortunately. Until, that is, I spotted the pair of bitterns chasing each other. Up and over the road, and down into the North Moors pool. Chancing it, I decided to jog (yes, me jogging – a daft sight!) down to the other pool, to try my luck down there.

Moments after getting there, one of the bitterns headed across the water, and into the reeds opposite the hide, and vanished in the blink of an eye. Try as I might, I couldn’t see it, and was about to give up when out of the corner of my eye, I spotted something against the reeds in the other corner. Yep, the other one had come out to play, and sat on some reeds, stretching its neck, and looking around.

Joined by another birder, we both observed the bittern, glancing occasionally across to see if the other had come out, and I took a few shots. Alas, I made the mistake of looking at the camera, to check the images, and when I returned my attention to the bird, it had vanished.

Let’s hope I can get to see one of them when the sun is out – would be nice to see the colours in a good light. Fingers crossed...

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