“So, I’m sorry that it’s Yes, we have no Bitterns…again.”
Which is what John, the leader of our merry band, said when we finished our Bittern-less tour of Leighton Moss. That’s an amazing coincidence, I thought, that’s exactly what I called my post last week when I came and didn’t see any Bitterns then either.
I can be terribly dense sometimes. Minutes later he told me that somebody had told him about the blog, but that he had trouble getting it to load on his computer. So that explains that then.
I was back at Leighton Moss on another Wednesday Bittern walk and once again we didn’t see any Bitterns, which you might have gathered if you were paying attention. This time I went without my camera, because the light wasn’t so good, and…..well, a change is a good as a rest. (So after a surfeit of photos in the last post – none today)
There was lots to see, although at times I didn’t see – I didn’t see the female Goldeneye in the ice-free run on the Mere, nor the Tufted Duck. I couldn’t distinguish the Long-Tailed Tits bobbing about in the trees beside the causeway from which ever other Tits were there with them. But I did see the Nuthatch on the feeding station, and a Greater Spotted Woodpecker on the feeder by the Visitor Centre. I could pick out the Shovelers from the less easily discernible ducks. I enjoyed the tame Robins again, and the bold Marsh Tit which sat in the hedge right by us, and the Song Thrush which watched us from a a wall top. I spotted the Heron which landed on the ice, surely too far from the open water to fish, and then after a while flew on over the open stretch of water.
And regardless of exactly what I saw, Leighton Moss is a great place to be. It was great to sit in the Lillian’s hide and watch snow falling on the frozen mere. And it was really illuminating to tour the reserve with someone who cold tell us all about the population of Otters, Marsh Harriers, Bitterns etc. I learned how to distinguish between Lesser and Great Black-Backed Gulls – there were two of the latter on the ice by the open water. I now know how to distinguish Common Gulls from Black-Headed Gulls – which in winter is not as easy at sounds, since Black-Headed Gulls are not Black-Headed in their winter plumage. In general, I feel like I picked up ideas about how to use the clues available which might mean that one day I can pick out the solitary female Goldeneye in the melee of Mallards, Shovelers and Teal.
Here’s hoping anyway…