Arrived at 09:30 looking forward to breakfast - but alas the cafe does not open until 10:00 now. So bought a machine coffee and some shortbread for breakfast. Headed off to my usual spot at the reedbed screen. All was quiet except for a distant great crested grebe. After a few minutes I wondered if anything at all would happen.
On the bank at the back a bittern appeared - standing tall. Far away though and my photograph does not do justice to this lovely bird.
It seemed to look at me and then wandered off along the bank to the right. There was some fantic activity nearer the hide but at first I could not make out what it was. Then three little grebe shot out and I assume it was a fight for the female. Such a vicious tussle too. Sweet little beasts until there is a potential menage a trois. At one point I really thought it would be to the death! But in the end one of them ran off (yes ran!) It was not easy to photograph as the light was harsh but I got a few reasonable shots. One shots is odd - quite which wrestling hold was going on here I'm not sure!
I sat for a while condsidering calling it a day - sure nothing else amazing could happen. But I was wrong. Suddenly two bitterns flew by. Of course I was too slow to get good shots (so many excuses for my poor photography!) They were flying high and being mobbed by gulls. They circled round several times before descending to the right.
Just as I deceided to move to the reedbed hide a single bittern flew over right to left. I sat back down and a great crested grebe came forward and caught a nice tasty lunch.
I did move to the reedbed hide where the light was wonderful. Tufted ducks and little grebes were close by and looked stunning. A buzzard flew over and of course the coots were playing - and being dive bombed by the gulls. I wandered back to the cafe - I was curious to experience the changes. There are some nice things on the menu but I will miss my chilli! I chose soup which I have to say was delicious.
All in all a faboulous day at Old Moor.
My Flickr photos
We spend 90% of net income on conservation, public education and advocacy
The RSPB is a member of BirdLife International. Find out more about the partnership
© The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654
Accepting all non-essential cookies helps us to personalise your experience
These cookies are required for basic web functions
Allow us to collect anonymised performance data
Allow us to personalise your experience