28 February, 2011

Bittern II - The Revenge!

Technically not the second go, or even the third, but as this had gotten personal, what with all the tarty showing over the weekend, I had to have another go at the Riverside Valley Park Bitterns.

I was so determined to see at least one of the buggers that I even took the folding stool. Just slung it over my shoulder. This diabolical tactic worked a charm as I didn't even need it :D Got a brief view as soon as I arrived, then a very nice near-side-of-the-pool-then-in-flight not that long after. Result. 'Course the darned things then hid for nigh on 2 hours, but that gave the small crowd of [Assorted Famous Devon Birders] a chance to have a good natter... ;) It wasn't all talk and no Bitterns; there was a Green Sand bobbing around on the next pool up and a Water Rail scurried across the back of the Bittern Pool, giving maybe ten seconds of fast-moving excitement!

Feeling the need for some lunch, I wandered off, but couldn't resist a detour to Exminster to see if the Spoonbill there would actually wake up and do something for me. Ha ha... Waiting for assorted cars / dog walkers / etc. on the road gave me the chance to scan from my car on the way to the canal and I managed to pick the Spoonbill up, typically asleep, near the lagoon. Good good, thought I, and went to park very carefully between the concrete lines [[those clampers are very keen..]]. Getting up onto the tow path for a good look I was surprised [really shouldn't have been] to find it had buggered off - whether it flew or just wandered into a channel I do not know as I got not a sniff of it again.. Drat. I did see the White-fronts, SW of the lagoon, though could only count 7 [there was a bank, though]. A singing Skylark was nice, getting rained on was less nice, looking for and not seeing the Hen Harrier was pretty much expected..

Turning back the clock.... Friday I bashed the Patch mightily, but received no Wheatears. There was at least one Seal in the sea close by Thatcher Rock, though, which was somewhere I'd not seen them before. In the Garden, the female Blackcap put in another appearance. Saturday on the Otter saw a flock of about 40 Linnet over White Bridge and two, yes two Little Egrets [which definitely weren't Cattle Egrets], plus a Buzzard regretting getting close to the Rookery. Ouch. Sunday saw some hardcore birding by the Folks - watching Crossbills in hail! The Three Reservoirs are now pretty much overflowing and also boasted 2 GC Grebes [not a bird I associate with there] and 3 redhead Goosander, plus a Cormorant sat atop a conifer doing a creditable Pterodactyl impression and a ridiculously confiding Marsh Tit. :)

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