Saturday 2 April 2011

BITTERN in South Yorkshire

As it was an fine Spring evening a small gang of us decided to take advantage of the late opening times at Old Moor RSPB reserve in order to nail a rather elusive Bittern. As the sun went down a Barn Owl appeared and a swirling cloud of 300+ Sand Martin came into roost but there was no sign of the target species. With the warden, Dave Waddington's patience starting to wear thin and a small amount of verbal abuse being aimed at the secretive bird, we all exited the Bittern Hide in an attempt to gain a wider view from the footpath. Suddenly at 7.55pm a magnificent Bittern arose from its reedy lair and flew a short distance away from us. This constituted the latest ever sighting of this species for the reserve as they normally depart much earlier in the year. As we made our way back to the car park I then caught another glimpse of the bird as it flew towards us but once again it landed out of sight amongst the phragmites.

An early evening view from the Bittern Hide at Old Moor RSPB reserve.

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