Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Bittern Chilly - 8.2.12

3 Photos of the Scaup and the crappy Bittern shot! (honestly it is one!)

In the park this morning 50+ Redwings and 75+ Fieldfare flew East but the afternoon produced some top draw birds. My first Red Kite of the year flew low South over Watford High Street station at 2.30pm and around 100 Redwing were seen. With news of 6 Scaup and a Bittern being seen mid morning at Hilfield Reservoir I decided to brave the elements for a little while longer and head over there after work. I arrived at 3.40pm and there was already a couple of thousand gulls present but I was looking for other things. Eventually I located the Scaup but could only find 5 of the 6 birds (3 adult males, adult female and 1st winter male). I managed to get a couple of photos (see above) but they just wouldn't lift their heads up long enough for me to get a awake photo! All of a sudden most of the gulls got up alerting me to a Peregrine that was circling over followed 15 minutes later by a Buzzard. Just before I was going to leave I had a try to find the Bittern and as luck would have it 5 minutes later I picked out a bird crashing through the reeds before walking into the cut area and having a very quick preen. I managed probably the worst photo of a Bittern ever taken before it disappeared again. I called Steve Murray and he rushed round to the damn where after a few minutes of searching he re-found it sat high up in the reeds. It dropped down and carried on walking where amazingly it flushed out a second bird that was hidden from view!! For the last couple of minutes of daylight we watched the 2 Bitterns trying to find a cosy spot for the night. The cold was too much by now so I went home happy with 2 Hilfield ticks under my belt!

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