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!
Wray Castle and environs
1 hour ago