Main bird to see here was a little bittern that had been present for just a week, but overall just to visit the reserve for the 1st time this year.
Weather was cloudy but warm when I arrived so not too much in the way of dragon and damselflies about. Plenty of birds calling including at least 6 cuckoos, with one being seen in flight as well as numerous reed warblers, whitethroats and reed buntings. I arrived at the area of reed bed where the little bittern had been reported and after a few minutes it began calling before the briefest of flights that lasted all of 2 seconds before disappearing back into the reeds. No time to even focus the camera! The bird then called frequently as it seemed to make its way back to its original place, but after 20 minutes of waiting, I moved on. Up to the Joist Fen where, as the clouds disappeared and the temperature increased, a few distant hobbies could be seen circling above hirundines. By 10 a.m. I counted 11 in the sky at the same time. A rare sight indeed.
A marsh harrier circled over the reeds, too and over the railway line, both common buzzard and kestrel were on the wing.
A check over the fields for the cranes gave glimpses of their heads and necks in the long grass, but not seen in flight. My second year lister of the trip and this increased to three with a white wagtail seen on top of the shed by the path.
As I walked past the crowd of about 20 who were waiting for the little bittern, which could still be heard, I inquired as to whether it had been seen again. No, said a chap who had been waiting for well over an hour. I hope he was rewarded for his patience, but not my idea of bird watching.
A brief reel from a grasshopper warbler, more whitethroats and reed warblers and I was back at the visitors' centre. A wonderful start to the day and a place I should visit more often.
|pleasing whitethroat shot|
great crested grebe, little grebe, cormorant, bittern (heard) little bittern, little egret, grey heron, mute swan, greylag goose, mallard, tufted duck, marsh harrier, common buzzard, kestrel, hobby, pheasant, moorhen, coot, lapwing, crane, black headed gull, herring gull, common tern, wood pigeon, cuckoo, swift, swallow, house martin, kingfisher, great spotted woodpecker, white wagtail, wren, dunnock, robin, blackbird, blackcap, whitethroat, grasshopper warbler, cetti's warbler, reed warbler, willow warbler, chiffchaff, great tit, blue tit, magpie, jay, jackdaw, rook, carrion crow,chaffinch, goldfinch, reed bunting.
Total:52. including 3 year listers