Wednesday, 7 March 2012
Out Of Hiding
I returned to Mere Sands Wood this week hoping for better views of the bitterns that have been residing there for a number of weeks. The bitterns have at times been elusive but at other times have showed well to the assembled watchers and photographers.I have made four visits and have not had good views until this week.
On a previous visit my camera had packed in and I had to return early. Fortunately the lens was still ok but there appeared to be some problem with the shutter mechanism and the camera has had to go away for repairs. I am lucky enough to have another camera body and so I returned to Mere Sands Wood hoping for a chance at some decent shots of the bittern.
The Rufford hide was still busy with hopeful photographers but prior to my arrival one of the two bitterns present had departed to a nearby area and was not visible. The other bittern was in it's usual place close to the hide but well concealed in dense cover. It did show briefly and I got some nice portraits in the very nice afternoon sunshine. I spotted the other bittern returning to the area where it has previously shown well. All the big lenses were now trained on the bird as it made it's way slowly down to the water's edge and began to come nearer to the hide.
There was much excitement in the hide as the rapid fire of camera shutters followed the bittern's progress towards us. It gave some lovely views to all present as it picked it's way across the open area and once more vanished into the reeds. It had been a wonderful experience to watch this normally very elusive bird show off the wonderful markings of it's plumage which conceal it so very well in it's reedbed habitat.
Some of the many images I took are shown above and more will be posted later together with shots of a water rail ,another elusive bird which also showed well on a different part of the reserve.I hope my readers enjoy the account and images of the bittern which finally came out of hiding to delight those fortunate to be present on a lovely day in early spring. Thanks for looking.