A morning of prolonged rain seemed as good a time as any to pop over to Martin Mere to pick up a new ‘scope strap from In Focus today, although the south easterly wind direction suggested it mightn’t be a total loss.
Wasn’t expecting a Bittern though!
The bird was fishing amongst the lush overhanging vegetation around the “Kingfisher” pool, and showed very well from the ground floor of the Ronnie Barker Hide, although it had gone out of sight for an hour or so after being first found earlier in the day.
Hard to digiscope because of all the vegetation, the Bittern caught fish fry a few times and what looked like a frog, but it was down its gullet before you could say Botaurus Stellaris…a fine soggy carpet bag for a fine soggy Sunday.
Two Green Sandpipers, with Ruff, Blackwit and Snipe from the Ronnie Barker hide too, and a juvenile Cuckoo which was being battered by hirundines over the water before it sheltered in a line of willows and scrub.
Walked round in the rain to the United Utilities hide after that lot in the hope of picking up the Wood Sand there.
The bird took some digging out, and I eventually got it in my ‘scope right at the back of the marsh feeding close to Common Sandpipers and Little Ringed Plovers. Pity it was so far off – always good to see a Wood Sandpiper.
While I was looking for the sandpiper, this weird young Marsh Harrier came floating by – really orange on the shoulders, with a bleached blonde chest.
Not bad for a soggy Sunday plus a botanical bonus in flowering Broad Leaved Helleborine by the path down towards the Janet Kear and UU hides too….