Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Once Bittern, Never Too Shy

A sunny day took me to Amwell and as I walked down the lane I met Tony. As we chatted about all the birds that weren't there, a Dunnock came and sat just a few yards away, so close that I had to retreat a couple of yards to achieve an uninterrupted view and get it within focusing range. Juveniles have a brown iris whereas in adults the iris is orange. The iris of this bird is starting to change but is not yet orange enough for an adult so it is therefore a 1st winter.

I then paid what was intended to be a short visit to the James Hide, to see if the Bittern was showing in the ride. No such luck, but I didn't have to wait too long before a doe Muntjac appeared at the far end and started to walk down the ride. Unfortunately, like the Foxes the other week, she only got half way before she sensed my presence, possibly by the click of the shutter.

Finally, another visit to the White Hide in search of that close up of the Bittern. I sat there for half an hour before it emerged from the reed bed opposite and flew towards the hide to land in the reeds below.

This was good news as there was now the possibility of it working its way towards the hide and showing in the open patch immediately below the window. After a few minutes it appeared in a gap in the reeds and was indeed walking in the right direction. Eventually, it worked its way to just a few yards below us. This was particularly frustrating as you could see the reeds moving, hear it rustling the reeds and occasionally get a glimpse of eye. At one point it became curious and pushed it head above the reeds to see what was going on.

OK that is certainly a close-up, but it would be nice to get one of the whole bird. Will have to save that one for another day.

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