We were heading home after breakfast , but I was up and out , and in the Fen hide by 0600 . Still windy , and more cloud than yesterday , but short spells of sunshine too . Once again , I was greeted out front by several Reed Warblers , seemingly more at ease at this time of the day . The sun had encouraged the Marsh Harriers out of bed early too , and this female came reasonably close to the hide in her search for food . The peace and quiet was broken by a pair of juvenile Moorhens , acting like a couple of kids who had just woken up , full of energy , and full of noise , one goading the other into who would take the plunge first . It proved to be one of those mornings , as the Little Grebe that was abluting last evening , was now performing this strange routine . I can only assume that it had entered into the World Bog Snorkelling Championships , and was getting in some practice , whilst not many people were about . As I left the hide , this Willow Warbler was still singing , but with the sun covered again , he looked like he would rather be in warmer climes . The cloud didn't deter this male Reed Warbler , singing non stop , perched on the bank of The Yare . Shortly afterwards , there was a great deal of 'whiffling' and calling in the air , which was coming from three Mute Swans in line abreast , and at no more than 25ft. above the ground . The noise as they flew right overhead was quite incredible . Several Marsh Harrier were in the air now , and , at last , I was in the right position to get a shot of one of the males , showing off his superb colours . My time was nearly up , when all hell broke out in the area where the Black-headed Gulls were nesting , which at the time was out of my view . I hurried to a vantage point , and at distance , could see that the intruded was none other than a Bittern , my second sighting in two days . The whole Gull colony were in the air to defend themselves , but I have had to crop the shot considerably , cutting out many of the Gulls . Yet another Marsh Harrier sighting , this time perched atop a dead tree . Almost back to the Reception hide , I came across what looked like a family group of Blackcaps , and although juveniles have brown caps like the females , this individual and at least one of the others had a juvenile look about them . I just don't know if the juvenile males get their black caps in their first year . A last look down the open water outside the Reception hide provided an unexpected species , a Black Swan , clearly no question of this one being a 'wildie' , an escapee from a local collection a certainty . To the left of and further away from the Black Swan , I spotted this bird , which either had very long legs , or was perched on something the same height as the reedbed , more later . At the same time , I saw a male Marsh Harrier heading straight for where I was standing and between us the Gull colony . It came in at 30/40 feet , and once again the Gulls went mad , every single bird in the colony was in the air and the noise was manic , not just from the Gulls , but from the Harrier as well . After a couple of minutes of mayhem , The Harrier broke away , and headed back towards the 'long legged bird' seen earlier . As it arrived , the bird cowered , tail up , and the male seemed to land on top and mate with her . Sorry about the shot , but the distance and the movement with the male flapping didn't help . But , on getting home , I checked , and the species has just one brood , in April/May , so I think it could well be some more youthful exuberance , or getting in a bit of practice for next year .
I headed back to the b&b for breakfast , and afterwards the journey back home . The end of a great trip , 66 species of birds plus the Ferruginous Duck and the Black Swan , and the two long wished for species seen , just a shame about Carol's foot .
Can't finish without just one more shot .
Sorry ShySongbird , no Otter surprise .