Thursday, 19 June 2014

Minsmere - Bitterns performing!!

I was heading for Minsmere before news of a White-throated Sparrow broke - the morning was spent joining in the search but apart from one reported sighting, it was never seen again :-( Rather than completely waste the day and with Bittern still needed for the yearlist (I haven't been anywhere likely produce them though!) an hour was spent in Bittern hide.....

With a name like that, it ought to produce the goods and my goodness it did! The following performance arena is the water in front of the hide! (Note the Red Deer with ring side seat) An extended post beckons.......



 I'd only sat down for 5 mins when one suddenly 'appeared' out in the open!


The first one melted into the reeds, only to be replaced moments later by a second one - seemingly 'darker' especially the crown patch.






Suddenly, another Bittern appeared from the left hand channel. A particularly pale individual - a juvenile??


Pale underparts.....



Almost reptilian in appearance.....


I go cross-eyed looking at these :-)


But it's all about looking down and ever-ready for prey!



Busy catching sticks (plus the occasional fish!)


And just look at that pale crown patch - has to be a youngster!


Quite a few of these tiddlers will be needed!!


Taking ...... erm like a bittern to water?






As close as it approached!


There were adults flying around quite frequently including this one!




Gliding in front of the hide....



Then away!


Back into the privacy of the reedbed....


The final photo opportunity came with yet another? individual clinging to the reed stems!




Settled down and busy preening :-)



Before taking to the water out of sight!


I'll leave you with this close up crop.....


I think Bittern is now well and truly on the yearlist, more activity in one hour than I can recall in the last three years! What better way to celebrate - a fantastic pub steak! And I can heartily recommend generous helping of stilton melted over a field mushroom!!!!


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