Thursday, 15 January 2009
No more Bittern-ness
If there is one bird more than any other that I have been bothered about for my county list, it is Bittern. I've lost count now of the number of times I've dipped wintering birds at Rutland Water, and I missed the Cossington bird last year. They always managed to fly into reedbeds just before I arrived never to be seen again, or just after I'd given up and left. Bastards! I thought the Eyebrook bird this week would also be consigned to the missed list, mainly because I couldn't get there in time to see it on Sunday when it turned up and I expected it would be a very short stayer during a working week. However as it was still there yesterday, and I had a business meeting in Wisbech, I hoped to finally end the bittern-ness. I arrived at EBR mid-afternoon on the way back, and was immediately struck by the small crowd at the inflow chatting and aimlessly looking around. Bollocks I thought, it's going to be one of those days again. However, eventually a bit of patience paid of and the Bittern came flying over, turned back and landed somewhere on the north side of the inflow bridge. A brief in-flight view but at last I had Bittern for the county. A bit more patience and excellent frame-filling scope views were had as the bird skulked in and out of the bank-side vegetation before it again flew - this time heading out onto the shoreline of the main reservoir on the Rutland side. More great scope views as it made its way purposefully along the shore before it once again flew, this time back to the inflow on the south side of the bridge. By the time I got back there, it was incredibly close and getting near enough to photograph - the only problem being that as it edged ever nearer the light was fading fast. Overall though I was extremely pleased with the views and happy with the shots I managed to get as the bird continued to hunt in the inflow at dusk. You can't see me - right? Bittern - OMFCL!