Friday, 6 March 2009

Bittern at Switho.... 4th March 2009.

Following info via the LROS website and John Hague's text message, the destination for most of the day was Swithland Reservoir as the reported Bittern had finally become viewable from the causeway.
The Bittern had been around for at least month but had been skulking in the private sections of the reservoir, so I expected a bit of a crowd for most of the day to view this delightful Heron.
Although I got to the causeway around 10.00am I met up with Ben Croxtall and disappointingly he said that there was no sign of the bird!
So after about two hours of staring at the same clump of reeds I decided that maybe the Bittern wasn't going to show and also I had to nip into University to sort out some plans for my final assignment so I drove home for some lunch and then onto University.
After my tutorial I decided to return to Swithland Reservoir to finally see if the Bittern had shown in the afternoon.

Arriving back at the causeway I met up with Allen Pocock and Norman Hall who had just re found the Bittern which was in a small patch of reeds looking right from the causeway.
Over the next hour or so the Bittern showed on and off but it was amazing how it's camouflage worked so well when it stood still.
Joined by John and Ben a bit later the Bittern finally performed for the crowd and an interesting behaviour was noted.
A Grey Heron flew in and landed near the Bittern. With this threat the Bittern walked over towards the Heron and started to raise its wings and puffed out all its head and neck feathers very much in the style of an ancient ninja warrior, and then started to dance on the spot!!?
All I could say was that I was totally amazed of what I saw and I think most of the group was as well.
As it was getting dark by now the afternoon performance of the Bittern was a great end to a slightly frustrating day to say the least.
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