A Walk on My Patch
I had a lets say "rather eventful" bird encounter during my walk on my local patch; you see whilst enjoying the beautiful countryside scenery, you soon start to come across these pools that range in size. Anyway one of these pools has a rather large area of reed bed, and I'm stood there observing the reeds when suddenly this thing of beauty comes into view, the Bittern. I have come across many unusual birds on my patch, like the Smew and Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, but never a Bittern. This is the first time there has ever been a Bittern known down there and the good thing is someone spotted it before me 4 or 5 weeks ago so that kind of tells me it is likely to stick around over Winter.
I will keep you updated on my observations as I will be going down to try and monitor it every week, especially as it a Red Status bird.
I had only seen a Bittern once up until now; however I only saw it's neck for a few seconds before it disappeared into the reeds at Marbury Park, and so the excitement and enthusiasm struck me like a bolt of lightning when I saw it this close and that is was on my local patch (within a few miles of my front door).
This is the best picture we got as it was properly out in the open, although even though it was out in an open part of the reeds it still took ages to find, as they are so well camouflaged and very shy. I think I was staring right at it for about half an hour before I realised it was a Bittern and not a reed.
I don't actually know whether this is a male or female, so it would be great if I could have some advice on how you tell if it is a male or female.
It wasn't just the amazing Bittern we saw today, we saw plenty of other birds but here is the final picture of this remarkable bird, for this weekend anyway.
One of the other birds we saw today was a Grey Heron, but hunting in the grass, we all thought (me, my brother, my mum and my dad) it was possibly hunting for frogs and things like that.
This is the pool where we saw the Bittern; as shown below the reeds are at either side of the pool, but this picture was taken to show the picture of this rather scary Autumn half dead tree.
On this pool there was a pair of Mute Swans following us up and down the path, one of which had a bright green colour ring on it which was nice to see. Almost as good as the Bittern, a new bird I have never seen before and never seen on my local patch was a wonderful Water Rail. It flew from within the reeds to the other side of the pool.
It was a walk full of Winter Thrushes as we saw Blackbirds, Song Thrushes, Fieldfare and Redwing.
Here is a list of the birds I saw today on the walk, in the order we saw them: Collared Dove, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Goldfinch, Fieldfare, Redwing, Wood Pigeon, Blue Tit, Robin, Starling, Magpie, Black Headed Gull, Blackbird, Mallard, Buzzard, Great Tit, Tree Creeper, Chaffinch, Coot, Moorhen, Meadow Pipit, Song Thrush, Little Grebe, Kingfisher, Jay, Long Tailed Tit, Grey Heron, Lapwing, Wren, Goldcrest, Sparrow Hawk, Nuthatch, Tufted Duck, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Water Rail and of course a stunning Bittern.
Saturday's Ringing Session
Today was all about the Winter Thrushes with many birds still in good numbers at this particular site.We had a good morning for Redwing 39 and a single Fieldfare, but it slowed down during the course of later morning with a single Goldcrest at the end of the session (another spectacular day for Winter Thrushes). We were joined by Catherine and Lilly who are Ecology students.
The totals for the day were Redwing 39, Fieldfare 1, Blackbird 1 (1), Goldcrest (1), Wren (1), Blue Tit 6 (8), Great Tit 1 (2), Coal Tit (1), Goldfinch 1, Chaffinch 2, Bullfinch (1), Greenfinch 18 (1) .
The people who own the the site also have some livestock and we always stop to see the pigs and piglets, I think they are Saddle Backs.