Sunday, 15 January 2012

Bitterns

Saturday morning and before going to Big Waters I thought an hour at Gosforth Park might be worthwhile so arrived there about 07.30 and even then there was 2 vehicles already there but off to the hide I went but it took me over 35mins to get there, 10 lovely deer, 5 in the West fields and 5 in the woods kept me hanging around for a while. They ones on the field knew I was there immediately so had to keep still but after 5 mins watching I started along the path and they started also heading in the same direction but keeping the same distance, 3 more appeared on the path directly in front and another 2 wandered in from the woods but as soon as they saw me they were off.  


Them watching me watching them

Onto the hide but stopped again by 2 Greater Spotted Woodpeckers drumming away marking their territory and the woods were alive with Blue and Great Tits.  Eventually arrived at the hide and was surprised to only find Paul McM there who was staring through his lens and said he couldn't move cos he could see a Bittern through it (just) but when he looked away he couldn't make out where it was.  So after a lot of directions (blind leading the blind thing) and 25mins later I stumbled on it.  It was only 30m away but in the middle of the reeds.  After 10mins I realised there was another about 6ft away when it moved, Paul spotting it also.  Watching them both I took my eyes away from the scope and a Bittern took off from the reeds and flew  behind us, I asked Paul which one had gone and he said he had saw the one fly also but there was 2 still there, sure enough there was still 2 there.  A few minutes later one of them flew across the pond and landed about 15m from the hide where it started walking in and out of the gully and reeds for the next 2hrs.  Meanwhile the other one decided to get to the edge of the reeds and do that amazing balancing act that they do on top of the reeds.  It was without doubt a great 3hrs viewing (btw, didnt get to Big Waters).  Here is a few pics taken in amazing sunlight which makes everything look golden but for a special head and neck shot check Paul's here.





These 2 were the earliest shots I took when the sun wasn't that intense
and me and Paul were absolutely shivering in the hide



Can't remember the sun disappearing and the settings didn't change  but it was in 
an area where there was shade 


If you look at the Bittern's legs you can see their proper colour where the reeds are
putting them in the shade


Finally, I took several hand held videos (you can tell my the wobbling which was caused by the bloody shivering).  They are in full HD but they look much better if you view them in the UTube Viewer





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