Thursday, 21 June 2012

3rd time lucky!!! LITTLE BITTERN in home county (17th June)

Finally, after my third attempt for the bird I have now seen my first ever LITTLE BITTERN (a female)!  It was just skulking behind some reeds as I arrived and wasn't showing particularly well until I climbed on the wood-chip pile which provided a slightly better vantage point.  It did make occasional trips out into the open, however, no sooner as it was showing it flew downstream, where it was relocated skulking in the willow hedge overhanging the water.  Also in the same area was 1 Kestrel, 1 Red Kite and several Sedge Warblers and Reed Buntings.  I didn't have long before I had to rush back to the car to pick up Theo.  On my return I passed the causeway where I bumped into Geoff Lapworth and the finder of the Little Bittern.  Together we enjoyed a brief glimpse of the resident Cetti's Warbler singing briefly from a well concealed perched, apparently there are a pair of birds that have bred as he had only earlier that day seen an adult feeding fledglings, great news as I think this is the first time they have bred at Stockers Lake!  I returned back to the Little Bittern site and was very glad to see that it was now showing brilliantly in the same spot as I had left it earlier.  It was now feeding in the open and even managing to catch the occasional fish, my terrible photos taken using my digital compact camera without the use of a scope or bins really don't pay testament to the beauty of this bird, an absolute stunner, particularly for Herts.

the female Little Bittern before the excellent views

largest number of birders I've seen in Herts in any one place at a time

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