Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Now 3 BITTERNS at Calvert BBOWT

Calvert BBOWT lake 20 JANUARY 2009; Can confirm there are without doubt 3 EURASIAN BITTERNS on site. Have suspected 3 for a week or so and on two visits was pretty sure but always one with unseen escape route available. Birds are using all 7 reedbeds on both banks, with many flight views during day. Trick is to pin individual birds down once they have landed in isolated reedbed and keep an eye on them. Today after early flights I knew where two were. Joined by Ken Earnshaw and Oxonbirder, we saw one fly right down to bottom bed on opposite bank, shortly followed by 2nd which landed in different bed but also down bottom/South end. Was sure neither of these came from bed near hide where had seen one earlier. We kept eye on all 3 areas and sure enough the one by hide flew!! So definitely THREE. Getting silly now!!.. but outside chance 4 !!! When we had 3 pinned down one appeared in flight, landed in inside bed. It did not appear to come from 3 areas mentioned but can't be sure. They are very visible in flight, in good light, and gulls/cormorants go mental, so good early warning system. For 2nd time heard one doing rarely heard croaking call in flight, earlier this week saw one puff out breast, neck with wings out in threat posture, pretty sure to another Bittern. They do not seem to like each others company and I think because there are three different birds on site this is resulting in numerous flights/activity during daylight. I once had 11 separate views on one visit !! If you spend an hour in the hide at the moment, virtually guaranteed seeing one.

Also today 3 NORTHERN PINTAILS (drake and two females) ( 2nd hide) and wintering CETTI'S WARBLER (Tim Watts)

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