Sunday 8 July 2018

Chelmarsh Res - Little Bittern!!!

The story starts on the afternoon of Friday 6th July at Chelmarsh reservoir where John Reeves was checking out vain hopes of a Garganey at the causeway? Little did he know,  a bigger jackpot was in store from the reedbed however! It wasn't a bullfrog, nor a small dog but the unmistakable barking of a Little Bittern!!

I joined him with a few other locals at 2:45  and the long process of actually seeing it began! At one stage it was less than 20m off the causeway, you could see the reeds twitching but impossible to see! It wandered further round to the left, eventually covering some 100m +.  Patience was rewarded however when at 9:50 that evening we were treated to a one and only brief flight view! And no images sadly - excellent views of the bittern were had however as I was scanning the exact spot it emerged from!

Fast forward to Sunday morning and after having shown well on the Saturday, I picked up Dave Chapman at 4.15am with hopes of a repeat performance? Here's a view of where it flew in after roosting further up the pool, there's no way you can get close, so patient scanning of far reed bed where it was barking, was the order of the day!

And eventually we were all rewarded with decent scope or camera viewfinder views!

Sometimes quite acrobatic clinging onto the flimsy reeds...

 And eating a flying morsel or two?

 We had to wait until 9:30 for the LB to emerge and reveal it's amazing colours!

A plane flying over seemed to unnerve it and it wasn't long before if flew in front of the reed bed towards the causeway!

Here's the sequence...

Levelling out across the water...

And then diving back into cover some 50m away from where it took off...

Here it is before total emergence, it should only take a second or two to find it? Might be the only fleeting view you get?

Job done, Dave and I called it a day some 9 hours later, celebratory Magnum (the cold variety not champagne) and the most unlikely county tick you could imagine in the bag. Well done Reevesy!!!