My blog is mostly about wildlife, particularly birds, walking, days out, all growing things and anything else that comes to mind.
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Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Bitterns at Barnes - but not for me...

Firstly, I find it hard to believe that it's well over a week since I last posted. Not really been doing anything much and had a few local walks. But....I'd heard a rumour that a Bittern had been sighted at the London Wetland Centre. So having checked the website for confirmation I duly headed off.

As I entered a flock of Long-tailed Tits flew through - just managed a couple of records shots before they flew off again - their flight probably caused by a group of very noisy children with their very noisy mothers moving past. It's half-term!!!!!

Up in a tree a crow posed again the blue sky and sun. Today was SO warm - hard to believe that it's the end of October and there was I in a tee shirt - my jacket was in my back pack and there it stayed. Lovely!

Whilst I started on the Peacock Tower side, I did an about turn and headed off for the Wildside Hide. On the bridge immediately before it, some birders were gathered and some had seen the Bittern - before it flew over the nearest line of reeds and out of sight! Just my luck.

We listened to a couple of Cetti's Warblers (lovely!) but I didn't see them. So not my day for anything out of the ordinary then.

I was entertained however, by the antics of this Grey Heron. It kept leaping up into the air, landing, turning and repeating the exercise. This interspersed by its dipping its beak into the water occasionally but all it seemed to discover was reeds!!

It was more like watching a participator in Strictly Come Dancing with all it's pirouettes and posing.

Wings stretch and off we lift..

Jump up and raise your wings..

and now we land and stretch our neck..

Stretch forward and open beak..

now stretch our wings and arabesque..

and turn around and forward stretch..

we pirouette and glide to the left

and down to the ground so gently..

we glide along..

for the final curtsey


So a very pleasant afternoon in the sunshine. And in one hide, a family with two small boys (both under 10 I think) - both with scopes identifying the birds. Restores your faith in human nature after all the noisy kids earlier!


Warren Baker said...

Bittern and cettis - not the easiest of birds to see at the best of times Tricia! Keep trying :-)

oldcrow61 said...

You're in a tee shirt??? I only wish I was. Cold here with the odd flurry. Nothing stayed on the ground though. I love the crow picture. The photos of the heron are marvelous.

Chris said...

Hi Tricia,
Well maybe we can say that the world belongs to everybody and so some like to bird, other do not care, and it is rather difficult to combine these activities/behaviours... It had happened to me several times, even here in Iceland where we are only 190,000 around Reykjavik!!!!
But you still managed to get a pleasant day with some nice pictures of heron and long-tailed tits!!! Enjoy it very much, for us now taking pictures of birds is gonna vanished until end of March!!
Thanks for sharing with us...

mick said...

Sorry you missed the Bittern but the photos of the Heron are great! Definitely worth your time with noisy children around to get photos like that!

holdingmoments said...

That set of the Heron Tricia is just magic. A great sequence of his poses. Really brought a smile to my face.

SPD said...

I know the kids are noisey but am glad they are being shown such fab places and wildlife even if it is subliminal conditioning to the outside world so much better than being inside on a fab day! Love the dancing heron. Lv SPD

Roy said...

Hi Tricia, know what you mean about noisy parents/children and the general lack of respect for other people around them. If they are going to bring them to reserves and bird hides you would think it was for the right reasons and they would behave accordingly. I have that problem at a certain bird hide sometimes. You can tell before you walk in that there is no point in entering to watch birds.
That Heron is cracking up.{:)

Tricia said...

Warren - I shall still keep trying and hopefully as the Autumn and winter go on I shall have better luck.

OC - yes - we seem to be having an unseasonably warm few days!! And thank you - the crow was very accommodating.

Chris - perhaps I sounded a bit too critical - but it's the parents more than the children!!

Mick - thank you. I was very entertained by the Heron.

Keith - the Heron kept "dancing" for about 3-4 minutes. I just don't know why it did what it did - but it was very entertaining.

SPD - I have to agree that they have some great places to visit. But the parents use the Wetland Centre as a meeting place and very very few show the children anything about birds or wildlife - that' what's so sad!

Roy - As I said to SPD - keep the noise to the areas designated and then be quiet in the hides as the notices request us to do.

The Early Birder said...

Half-term & 'ankle-biters' everywhere showing little regard for the spaces they occupy!
Always good to see those youngsters taking a REAL interest in the wider world. A performing Heron...great. Bitterns have stayed at Barnes for some time in previous years so there is still a chance to capture one. FAB

Tricia said...

Hi Frank; yes it's encouraging when youngsters are keen to watch birds and wildlife and great that their parents generate enthusiasm for them to do so.

I'm at Barnes quite a lot and have been successful in spotting Bitterns there before so I shall be going back!!

Midmarsh John said...

Brilliant Heron dance sequence.
Nice to see some youngsters being shown how to observe the natural world.
I tend not to shop at half term breaks. Otherwise it brings out the Victor Meldrew in me. ;)

Janine said...

Love the dancing heron! Great LTT shots.

Tricia said...

Hi John - and many thanks. Yes I hope the younger's interest continues.

Janine - thank you. I've subsequently learned that this is not unusual behaviour for one of the Herons there. Seems we have a bit of a madcap as there's no logical reason for its behaviour LOL

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