Instead of my normal insular walk, I was joined by my good and generous friends Brenda and Jo. We met at Fisher’s Green before most people are even awake and enjoyed a bracing 3 hour walk around the park pretty much to ourselves before taking up duties at the Bittern information Point.
|50 shades of Grey Wagtail.|
|It could just call the number rather than shout.|
Would I have seen this beautiful wagtail on my own? I doubt it. Just a change to ones routine can sometimes throw the routine into the random. We lapped it up.
We looked for any late Goosanders but none were seen. Grey herons seemed to be everywhere along with Great Crested Grebes and Cormorants.
Mind you, these ladies can talk. I tried to focus on the world around me but also had to learn to hear above the conversation for the bird calls...so I learned a new skill I suppose. (Joking ladies, joking)
Jo then found the find of the day. A pair of Long-tailed Tits had started to build a nest and we stopped to watch them at work. I couldn’t focus on the build but my camera and me have a way to go yet in terms of building our own relationship!
As 10am approached, we said our goodbyes to Jo who unfortunately wasn’t on duty today (something she will have to live with for some time to come I expect) and Brenda and myself prepared for a day in the information point.
For those of you who are not familiar with the Lee Valley or the Information Point, dedicated to the Bittern God, we have had a pretty meagre year with said Bittern. It has shown but often only fleeting views or obscured views so we didn’t expect or imagine what would unfold, only wish for.
To be blunt, it was like f***ing Pinocchio. Brenda had only just opened the shutters to the hide before she brilliantly shouting but in a whisper 'Bittern...Bittern...It’s showing!" The Dream was coming true.
We grabbed cameras and our hopes but the damn bird showed a tail and disappeared back into the reed bed. Well at least we knew it was there and where it was. We settled down for the inevitable.
The inevitable is written in birding law and a page written on this blog many times this year in the valley. Fleeting moments of Bittern punctuated by hours of rhetorical discourse around the appearance or non-appearance of the bird.
Well bugger me!
|Yes, just try creeping past without being seen!|
|Water Rail did the warm-up act|
It was totally a dream come true today. We even had a docile Jay in the picnic area that was happy for its picture to be taken and used in this blog.
|Jay walking it.|
And in my case, it isn’t the Bittern; it’s my friends – I couldn’t wish for any better.