Not literally, but he certainly gave me the run around.
A dull, cloudy start to the morning, quite windy, and a definite chill to it.
I topped up the bridge with seed, and made my way round the north lake. I’d only planned to make it a quick visit.
I quickly fed one of the Crows, who had been following me, and suddenly he took to the air. A Sparrowhawk had dared to fly overhead. Mr. Crow was having none of that, and proceeded to show him the quickest exit from the lake.
As I passed the bandstand, and walked alongside the reed bed, I noticed a lot had been flattened, and squashed down. I put thoughts of a Bittern being responsible, out of my head; they’re not that heavy surely?
Maybe not, but I suddenly came face to face with one. We both stared, both startled by each other. At this point a good photographer would have rattled off a few frames.
I managed a couple of blurry, out of focus shots, as he took off, and made his way further down the reed bed.
Maybe I should sit in a hide, and get my Bittern pictures that way. Not as much fun though.
Undeterred, I mad my way back to near where he had settled. A few Black-headed Gulls had seen him take off, and were intent on giving him a hard time. pretty soon he was up again, moving further down the reed bed.
Yea, I missed him again.
At this point I decided he was getting enough grief from the gulls, without me stalking him with a camera, so I decided to leave him in peace.
As I began to leave, a Water Rail scurried over the last remnants of ice, to the safety of the reeds.
Another missed opportunity.
I carried on round the north lake, stopping to admire a female Goosander. Too dull to even think of pictures, so on I went.
At the top end, by the weir, another female Goosander, swimming around with the Coots, and Wigeon.
I made my way back to the car park, and as I crossed the road bridge, five Crows were escorting a Buzzard away from the lake.
Back at the car park bridge, more seed left for the birds, and a couple of pictures.
For a quick visit, it turned out to be a good one. Some great birds seen; even if not captured by the camera.
No video today.
Full list of today’s sightings
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Gadwall [sp] (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Goosander (Mergus merganser merganser)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Great Bittern [sp] (Botaurus stellaris)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Water Rail [sp] (Rallus aquaticus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
British Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos clarkei)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Eurasian Jackdaw [sp] (Corvus monedula)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)
Total species 37