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Thursday, 26 June 2014

Little Bittern -1

Monday the news filtered out of a Little Bittern  seen and heard at Gosforth Park Nature Reserve, I was along the coast and rather than dash off straight there I decided to go home first and dress more appropriate to an evening at the lakeside  complete with insect repellent. It had been decided as with the recent Feruginous Duck to allow day passes to what is normally a private reserve of The Norrthumbria Nartural History Society so I suppose I should not have been surprised when arriving at the hide to find it filled to overflowing and being a nice warm sunny day  it was rather comical to see everyone sweating profusely , well at least I got in the hide with a few standing outside where you can see nothing, I was bent over trying to get a look out of the low shutters temperature rising by the minute so I decided to head around to the South hide which overlooks a lot of the reeds and has a small pool in front. Arrived at the hide to find it empty what a strange contrast , no sooner had  I sat down when a Kingfisher drops in sitting on a nicely placed branch  it has a couple of attempts at fishing but without success, numerous Reed Warblers feeding along the reed edges also a Reed Bunting, with Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, and Blackcap  singing beside the hide. Well I gave it my best shot spending about an hour and a half gazing over the extensive reed bed with no sign of the bird I could hear it calling but only faintly, (it resembles a small dark barking but in slow motion) with the surrounding area providing lots of traffic and aircraft noise pollution , the seemed to over towards the west edge where a screen overlooks another pool which are all collected with narrow passages . I decided to walk around on arrival only a family of Mute Swans to be seen with the occasional Common Tern trying it s hand at fishing , a Green Woodpecker called and sounded fairly close so I headed off to have  a look , surprised  myself at picking it out fairly quickly as it rested in a tree calling briefly giving me the rare opportunity of getting a few shots  , I did not go back to the main hide but the bird was reported as having been seen/heard at least it was still here , no chance to get back Tuesday but Wednesday was free so the plan to get there early. Round one Little Bittern 1 me 0 
 Kingfisher for company in a nice cool empty hide
 Preparing to make a dive
 Not sure how long  it sat around probably not more than a few minutes in reality but enough for me to get loads of shots
 Obligingly it change pose several times
 A Reed Warbler takes a moment to preen the  constant effort of feeding young takes it's toll
 Water Rail puts in a brief appearance but would just not come far enough out in the open
 View from the screen what a fantastic evening
 Green Woodpecker sits for me with the odd short call
 Unlike the Kingfisher it just sits there looking around ,not complaining though at last an opportunity to get some shots of this elusive bird.
So that's how my evening ended I'm not complaining no sight of the Little Bittern but nor did I have to spend hours in a packed out hide !!! Being a member  I can return as often as it takes . So why not think about joining from as little as £30 per year it's well worth it without membership this site would have just overgrown and slowly went over to woodland it takes money and  management  to preserve wildlife habitat

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