Friday, 3 February 2012

With open water icing over, BITTERNS are now appearing.............

This morning I decided to see if the EURASIAN BITTERN at Marsworth would perform on the ice – they often do. Anyway, Marsworth was completely frozen over and at about 7:45 I noticed a Bittern walking right on the ice in front of the reeds in front of the overgrown meadow. It carried on walking right and then I noticed a Fox walking on the ice about 10 metres from the Bittern. Whether the Fox was stalking the Bittern or not I don’t know. However when the Bittern’s sky-pointing routine didn’t work it carried on walking to the right and then flew for a little while to land on the ice and then stood still for a while. I proceeded on and checked Startops – failing to see either the Snow Bunting or Dunlin. Startops was more frozen than yesterday with small areas of open water densely populated by wildfowl. Returning to my car the Bittern was even further to the right in the area that the Jack Snipe had been favouring. At 8:20 I left it stood on the edge of the reeds but very much visible.

Wilstone had three small areas of open water with typical densely packed groups of wildfowl on each. The Brent Goose was on the field with Greylags and nothing noteworthy was on the open water patches (Roy Hargreaves).

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