Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Tuesday 14th.December 2010

Unexpectedly , just before leaving home this morning , volunteering up on the Greensand Ridge was cancelled . After helping Carol with some shopping , and with the cloud breaking , I decided to see if I could see one of the three Bitterns that Phil/Sharp by Nature , found on his patch at New Hythe yesterday . There was no sign of his car in Brooklands car park , so I had to go by memory on what he had described last night . I think I found the right place , and settled in on a small clearing at water level on the NE corner of Abbey Mead lake . Down out of the wind , and with a clear blue sky , apart from the Bittern , all that was missing was the sun cream . A large metal pipe provided a makeshift seat , and the sun was just coming around onto the reed beds opposite . There were some large birds about , including several Grey Heron coming and going to the river , and also Cormorants fishing and passing through . Two Kingfisher sightings and a mixed Tit flock , made up mostly of Long-tailed Tits helped fill the interest , against a clear blue sky . After an hour of watching , without a movement , I went for a walk back along the small track , and found the redhead Goosander that had done a disappearing act on my last visit . Once again , I had the sun in front of me , so just had to do the best given the conditions . After getting a couple of shots , I watched it move further out into the lake , where it started diving for food .
During my stay , I had tree sightings of Sparrowhawk , the last almost taking my head off as we converged on each other in a tunnel of Hawthorn trees . Another good hour watching the reed bed again , and again with nothing to show for it . I decided it wasn't going to happen for me today , it seems like it never does where this species is concerned . I walked back around Brooklands lake , and with the same sun problem , only took one shot of these two male Shoveller in the car park corner . Before heading home , I stopped off at Lunsford Lane to see if anything was along the small stream . The only sighting along the stream was a third Kingfisher , this one landing momentarily on the small wooden bridge , before continuing upstream . The Hawthorns in the area were attracting good numbers of Blackbirds , Woodpigeons and Redwings . The latter were very nervous if I got out of the car , so I positioned it as close to the stream as possible and managed to get a few shots . On the way home , with the gritters already out on the motorway , I thought about why I had dipped , again on the Bittern , then realised that someone had removed the red sign from above the reed bed , and the red arrows from the water . I knew that it wasn't my fault !


Phil said...

Oh Greenie, what a shame. Surely you're aware that you need a fully qualified New Hythe Bittern tracker with you to find them. Especially as they always carry the big red Bittern sign and the red arrow in their rucksacks!
I'm down there in the morning for another helping if I can! With my rucksack......

Warren Baker said...

Keep trying Greenie :-) Love that Redwing with the berry photo!

Kingsdowner said...

Awkward birds, Bitterns. Keep trying (I know you're very patient).

In the meantime, here's some pics:


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