The phrase polar opposites seems to be quite apt for me after a day in the Bittern Watchpoint yesterday. Actually, polar vortex is closer to the truth. The day had started with my car warning me of ice – like I needed to be told! still, it’s a caring car so i mustn’t be rude about it. With freezing rain sliding off the windscreen, I drove over to the Lee Valley Park. By the time I got there, the rainy sleet was slowly petering out.
I have been looking for the regular Yellowhammers now for a few weeks and the possibility that there might be signs of these bright buntings (not academically you understand) was too much to resist.
|Greylags in motion.|
I bumped into Brenda before getting to the centre as someone had reported a swan in difficulty along the path. We went to investigate but neither of us are qualified or for that matter brave enough to tackle an adult swan. We found it and although it was a bit docile, it wasn’t noticeably injured but for a slight limp. Another volunteer, Kevin, would have no problem sorting it out as he’s an animal rescue officer and was usually around...hopefully.
We went back to the info point and paused to watch some of the ducks tackling the icy coat on the lake.
|Coot. Big feet mate!|
|Lesser Black-backed Gull|
This year, the Bitterns have been difficult and very elusive. Usually with a frozen reedbed, the birds have little option other than to come out of hiding and fish for their supper in clear view. But because the winter has been remarkably mild our Bitterns have had everything their way.
I think I can thank the rain as the afternoon would prove to be one of best any of us had had in the Bittern Information Point.
One of our new volunteers, Tilly, had been so sure she could see the Bittern but these birds can sit still for hours and I thought I could see something but when a shape doesn’t move for ages then you tend to give up.
|Jo and Brenda. I think Jo can see the Bittern|
We all managed some good shots even though the bird was still in the reeds. Oh how we laughed. Even though by now my hands were frozen, I could still manage to press the camera buttons to check I had got something. The girls had some great pictures and I had some reasonable ones too.
|Just goes to show how difficult these jokers are to see.|