Saturday, 15 January 2011

Saturday 15th.January 2011

After spending more than enough time in the house this week , I was determined to get out this morning , regardless of the weather . I was up early , and whilst it was still dark , I was on my way to Sevenoaks Reserve , to catch the Bittern before it left it's roosting area in the reedbed , well , that was the plan . On arrival , only one other car was in the car park , and I set off for the furthest hide . Stopping off at the second hide , which also overlooks the reedbed , I found another birder , who had been there since before dawn , with very little to show for it . To give ourselves twice the chance , I headed for the hide beyond the reedbed , and settled in . A howling wind did make me wonder if it was still a good plan , but concentrated on the job in hand . I had already seen a good sized flock of Siskins on my way to the hide . Two redhead Goosander paddled backwards and forwards beyond the reedbed , and the Black-necked Grebe showed occasionally . A pair of Egyptian Geese alighted over the far side of the lake and a Little Grebe looked for it's breakfast in the shallow water behind the hide , apart from these , it was the usual waterfowl that were seen . A good 45 minutes had passed with no sight of the Bittern , when a Water Rail popped out of the reeds , looking for it's breakfast . It spent no more than 1/2 minutes out in the open , before diving back into cover . Even though the weather was milder than of late , that wind cooled things down . Then from nowhere , a Bittern flew in from around the lakeside trees , and well before I could focus the camera , disappeared into the reedbed . Apart from anything else , I was expecting it to fly out not in . The other birder and another who had joined him since I left , soon arrived at the door , hoping to see the Bittern in full view , but it wasn't to be . Not another sign of the individual , even with three pairs of eyes searching . During that search , another Water Rail sighting , but a more common one , as it dashed from cover on one side of the reedbed to the cover of the other side . At one point , I did have both birds in view , but it was very distant .
By midday , the wind was taking it's toll , and all three of us headed for warm drinks .


Warren Baker said...

Water Rail and Bittern will do for such a dire weather day Greenie - yep, it was a hard birding day for sure :-)

Wilma said...

Love the last shot of the rail dashing across the frame.