Wednesday, 2 August 2017

A Chance Encounter.

I am trying to remember when my last visit to Stodmarsh was, it's been a while but I think it was probably when the Red Footed Falcon was present, so a visit was long overdue. Yesterday, (Tuesday 1st) with a day free from work, I parked at the Stodmarsh end of the reserve and sauntered down to the Reed Bed hide. Just the normal Duck on the pool, no sign of the Shelduck chicks and no Waders present either so it was not long before I left and wandered down to the Marsh hide. En route by the Alder wood, distant and sitting out in the middle of the path leading down to the Lampern Wall was what I first thought to be a large dock leaf but on closer inspection through the bins, was in fact a Bittern. It was just sitting there sky pointing as I carried on down the path slowly edging nearer to it, fully expecting it to fly off at any moment.

It did not seem too alarmed at my presence as I stood there, now quite close. After a while it decided to walk off into the reeds by the dyke and try as I did, I could not relocate it, even though i knew where it went into the reed bed and the bird  must of been sitting there just a few metres from me (masters of disguise).

A chance encounter and it makes a change from seeing them skulking about partially hidden in a distant reed bed.

It was a good job I did come across the Bittern as the Marsh hide and the walk down to it was fairly mundane. Had a chat with Mel and Jan Fagg and also Ian Hufton and Peter Kesby who were all in the hide. I had two further sightings of a Bittern, the first flying out from the reeds at the the back of the meadow in front of the Marsh hide and towards the Lampern Wall and then 20 minutes or so later, probably the same bird returning, flying right over the hide and landing roughly in the same spot that the first bird took off from.
There were a few Marsh Harriers present, mainly females but no juvenile birds noticed. 
A rather scruffy Green Sandpiper dropped onto the pool in front of the hide to keep the solitary Lapwing company. I also noted two distant Little Egrets and a Turtle Dove was hidden from view drinking from the pool and was only noticed as it flew out. 

All in all not too bad a day for August although I don't think I would of said that without the Bittern encounter. Back Monday morning (7th) for another go at the Osprey's, fingers crossed for some decent light and hopefully the birds will turn up to fish.

1 comment:

  1. Right place at the right time, fine shots and different attitudes well done mate