Monday, 26 May 2014

Once Bittern Twice Shy

I had a great day at Elton Reservoir in Bury today going to see the mega rare Little Bittern which has been here since yesterday.  After dipping on the two White-winged Black Terns that were here last weekend, I decided on a fairly early start (for me anyway) and I arrived at about 7.45am to find at least 20 birders there already staring avidly at a willow bush in the middle distance. The bird didn't show until around 9:40am and then only very briefly with most views obscured by vegetation. After another wait it reappeared at 11:30am when it came out into the open giving great views for a few tantalising moments before flying back into the trees behind the willow bush.

Little Bittern (c) Martyn Jones
I had much better views than this terrible record shot suggests!

There must have 50 to 60 birders there at the peak viewing time, some from far flung corners of Northern England. Nice to see many familiar faces and meet some new ones, it was like a 'Who's Who' of GM Birding! And somehow the long wait before seeing the bird makes it even more exciting and special. There are some good photos around, but none from me I'm afraid. But like I said earlier, great day! Elton's having a bit of a purple patch at the moment and we're all wondering what's going to turn up next.

Little Bittern flying back into the trees - (c) Martyn Jones

Oh, yes - I just had to use that title as the bird has not been seen since my visit.

Photos by other people on BirdGuides:

Here's one of the best taken by Jon Lowe yesterday (taken from BirdGuides):

Little Bittern at Capstick's Marsh, Elton Reservoir (c) Jon Lowes (from BirdGuides)

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