Saturday, 17 February 2007

Once Bittern, Twice Shy. 3rd Feb 2007

I made a mad late afternoon dash to Lavell's lake near Wokingham, Berks today in the hope that i might see a Bittern.I really like Lavell's, it's has a good bird feeder viewing area, two good hides and the hard work that has been put in to the reserve has started to pay off with as many as 5 Bitterns being present in December 2005.
Upon arrival at the hide overlooking the lake a number of local birders had already been watching a single Bittern moments earlier and i believed that i was too late and had missed out.I set up my scope and within a couple of minutes of waiting a single Bittern moved through the reeds and onto the edge of the lake, it slowly stalked it's prey in the margins before striking and catching what looked like to be a good size Perch, after swallowing it's catch it sat in the open and digested the fish.I have never had such a good view of a Bittern and for over 10 minutes the bird sat in the open.As all of this was happening a second Bittern appeared further along in the island reed bed, it slowly climbed the reeds, stretched it's wings and got ready to roost.As the light slowly faded they both disappeared in to the reed bed.To see one was great but to see two at the same time was fantastic!.A Cetti's Warbler burst in to song a number of times while i was in the hide and while watching the scrape before the light finally got the better of everybody a Water Rail crept through the reeds.

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