Wednesday, 22 July 2009
Boom...Boom.... Doing Well....A Bittern's Tale
Visited Leighton Moss again this week hoping the hobby was still about. I met Paul on the roadside ovelooking Island Mere area where we had distant views of the marsh harriers but no sign of a hobby. We decided to visit Lower Hide where I had seen it a week ago and briefly called at Public Hide where a harrier did a fly by. Onto Lower Hide where we had a good look for a hobby but it wasn't about. We were however treated to some wonderful views of Marsh Harriers including the male bird which at times came too close for the big lenses. The harriers will be the subject of my next posting...so watch this space.
As we were watching harriers do their stuff a couple had spotted a bittern showing well close to some cut reeds in front of the Lower Hide and probably only about twenty five yards away. For the next ten to fifteen minutes we were treated to some wonderful views of this most elusive of birds and one of Leighton Moss's star attractions. Both Paul and I made the most of this great photographic opportunity and we were very well pleased with the results. It was only after the bittern had flown off and the excitement died down that we all realised that this was the bittern that had made national news when it had been found wandering the streets in Bamber Bridge in the cold weather of last winter. It was easily identifiable by the red ring on it's left leg.It had been rescued by the RSPCA on Jan 24th when it was found in an emaciated state and probably close to death. It was nursed back to health at Stapeley Grange Water Centre in Cheshire and was released at Leighton Moss a month or so later. I understand it is a male bittern and it is obviously very happy in it's new home at Leighton Moss and I look forward to further sightings and it's booming early next Spring. The images show the release of the bittern by David Mower of RSPB ( a copy of a press photo) and my best efforts including a flight shot showing the red ring on the bittern's left leg. Another memorable afternoon at Leighton Moss.Just need a sighting of the resident otters now !!!!