Monday, July 11, 2005

Once Bittern not so shy! Plus “ wet my lips” heard en route. 25/06/05

The generally quieter month of June has arrived and it’s time to try and fill some of the more obvious gaps on the list. Thus I headed for Titchwell knowing that for the first time in many years, apair of Bittern were feeding young – and this surely had to guarantee more success than the last attempt back on the day list in May, even more I had been told not to worry about arriving at any ungodly hour.

I left home at 0830 and the first nice surprise and real bonus was as I cycled the quiet lanes around Tatterford, at first I thought my ears may have deceived me, but as the bike ground to halt adjacent to a large field of Wheat, it started up again, this time the noise was louder, or more likely the bird had turned its head towards me…………”wet my lips, wet my lips, wet my lips,” BRILLIANT Quail I exalted to no one except myself!! I listened to the bird for a few more moments then headed on.

The forecast light rain developed into a heavy shower nr Docking, and I got a right soaking, I reached Titchwell at 11am, and met up with Oscar Campbell for lunch. Fully refreshed and into dry trousers and top, with the rain abating we headed off in search of Bittern.

We bumped into Paul Eeles who told us the sad news that “Sammy” the resident Black-winged Stilt for the past 12 years had disappeared and having not been seen for over a month one must assume that his days had finally reached there end – a real shame for a real star, he will certainly be missed on next years daylist!!

There was a reasonable selection of waders Ruff, Spotted Redshank, Knot, Bar-t Gowit, Black- t Godwit, and 11 Little Gulls, it was still a bit windy and despite being told the Bittern nest was close to the path we had no luck. We headed down to the sea as there was an onshore breeze, but apart from Fulmar, Common Scoter and the odd Gannet nothing new.

On returning to the reedbed we walked down with Paul Eeles, the assistant warden – his very sharp eyes suddenly reaped a big bonus……” Bittern” he yelled, sure enough one of the adults was flying over the reedbed. It decided to give prolonged scope views, by then landing on top of the reedbed, and we were able to scope it for 10 minutes. I was well chuffed and took a nice steady ride home.

208 NMYL and 56 miles round trip in just over 4.5 hrs