Seven and a half hours in North Marsh hide waiting for a Bittern, and nothing! Some would say that was dedication, others that I am going mad! And all because of those fantastic photos on Richard Hampshire’sTophill Blog. Bittern’s have always been a bogie bird for me, with the best shot I have taken at Potteric Carr a couple of years ago.
|Record shot of Bittern from Potteric Carr|
The morning session went slowly with little to report other than gangs of other birdwatchers dropping in for short periods of time. Some quite considerate, others not so.After a quick bite to eat I was joined by that other celebrated “Jonah”, Tony Simpson. We sat quietly but nothing happened until we were joined by John Leasson late in the afternoon. Still no Bittern, but within minutes we had our first of two Kingfisher visits (male and female), followed by a sighting of a Peregrine, a Hobby scaring the be-Jesus out of some Black-Headed Gulls, a juvenile Marsh Harrier, and finally a swimming Grass Snake – something I haven’t before seen this late in the year. Next time I go out I might have to see what John is doing….
|Our male visitor|
|Our female visitor|
|On the hunt...|
|Just tasting the air....|
|Trying the nearside bank...|
Today was just one of those days I guess. Sometimes you strike lucky, other times you have to put up with the frustration. At least I was out in the countryside and among enjoyable company. Perhaps next time my luck will be better and I will get to see that damned elusive Bittern!