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Thursday, 12 February 2009

9-02-09 Blyth Estuary/Cresswell & those Bitterns again

Monday the 9th I started off at Blyth Estuary but the tide was already well in 5 Mergansers near the boats, and Goldeneye up river , but I wanted to check the settling pools area there is some good rough ground here but all I had was 3 Meadow Pipits, mallard on the fenced pool and a couple of Snipe lifted the yard where the gulls roosted was empty .

Called in at Cresswell to get the Pintail and the hope of seeing the Bittern, walked into the hide and this guy said Bittern in the scope have a look and there it was right in the open cracking view not even had time to put my gear down, got settled in ,Barn Owl to the East of the hide ,Water Rail calling to the front and Bittern still showing in the background , my eyes darting around camera in hand , would the Bittern fly , would the Water Rail show, would the Barn Owl come nearer, actually it was all three, but I missed the Bittern when it did fly, and I missed the Barn Owl later as it came across the pond right past the hide , but I got the Water Rail, even got a digiscoped shot , plans to go further up the coast put to one side I was here till dark, I had some of my best views of Bittern to date apart from one at Leighton Moss years ago, when approaching a hide someone said a Bittern seen from the hide got in and looked out to find one feeding about 12 feet away my old bins wouldn't even focus on it.

As the light faded which was a pity as it been a bright sunny day the bird came even nearer going into the reeds for awhile as it went around a Heron, not seen any interaction with them yet, I tried to video it as light was too poor for my camera, its a bit dull but it does show it feeding as does the still ,it was slowly putting it's bill in but not probing just holding it there , turning it's head from side to side fascinating

......................another cracking day at Cresswell

This must be one of the most photographed Barn Owls in the County

Got the Pintail, looking a little lost .............. also Scaup in the small open pool

I have heard them often and seen them often, although mostly as they dart for cover, but I have yet to see and hear one call !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Water Rail from the hide Cresswell

It even sat for a digiscoped shot this is the uncropped frame.

The first bird chased this one off after a brief fight, it was all over in a flash !!!

No that's not a piece of pipe it's walking on it's ice ,the pond well frozen although the edge seems OK

Another digiscoped shot , not that sharp as it's on a slow shutter speed , I was going to scrap it till I saw the bill to the left side, this is how it was feeding holding it still but turning it's head from side to side, could it possibly be using it's light coloured bill as bait or lure.

Digiscoped video late afternoon its a bit dark, but it does show the bird feeding...


Blyth Birder said...

Groundhog day BB?

You could have nicked that Water Rail photo off me, except thats yours is better :)

Northumbrian Birding said...

Yes and I was there the day before you !!!!! it's proably been posing for a few.
Perhaps not today.