Regular readers will know about the trouble we have at Minsmere with those pesky Bitterns - coming too close to the hides for all the big lenses, flagrantly ignoring the bird book descriptions describing them as "shy and elusive", giving us many Health & Safety worries and so on. This winter though, they do seem to have taken all the warnings and memos to heart and have been far more difficult to spot - perhaps because the water levels are higher than usual after all the rain, so their regular fishing spot on the water's edge in front of the Island Mere hide is a bit flooded. Whatever the reason, it's been pleasant not having to deal with all the complaints and sobbing photographers as the Bitterns wander around inside minimum focus points.
However, that nearly all came to an abrupt halt at the weekend. Yes, I'm afraid so, we've a troublemaker in our midst. He didn't quite reduce me to headshots, but it was a close run thing!
The start was OK, someone spotted him hiding at the edge of the reeds
"Well done ol' chap" I called to him, "Perfect display of your camouflage and skulking behaviour, just like the books say" "Huh", replied the Bittern, "I'm only getting my feathers straight before showtime"
Ahh, yes, it was a bit of a weekend theme, bad hair - the Little Egret was suffering too
"Cooeee" called the Bittern. "Here I am!"
"You're not thinking of coming out from that reed edge, are you?" I asked
"So what if I am?" came the truculent reply, the Bittern giving me a funny look
"You know you're not meant to, Ian will be very annoyed with you!"
"Ho ho ho, I don't care" he chortled
"Oh what big feet you have" I admired
The Bittern simply smirked, giving us one final pose before disappearing into the reedbed once more...
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In reply to Ian Barthorpe:
Ian Barthorpe said:then they'll be relegated to a best supporting actor role (at best) as the otters are threatening to steal the limelight
That might be what's happened - they've been checking out the social media and are getting disgruntled with all the otter sightings!
In reply to Gardenbirder:
Gardenbirder said:let us know when you're going, we'll make it a point not to be there--lol!
You certainly learn who your friends are here! Actually, I wouldn't mind doing a week long East Anglian reserve tour. Obviously, I can't give advance warning in case the Bitterns hear about it and go into hiding, but I don't know that I'll be doing it anytime soon, so you're probably safe for a little while. at least.
In reply to Nigel O:
Gardenbirder said:Which started me thinking... I wonder if an east coast meet-up might be possible at some future date
You're always welcome, plenty of threads on this Minsmere section to help you decide what time of year you'd like to come :-)
It's more like something I keep thinking of doing at the moment rather than a plan but sure, I'll let you know if I do suddenly decide to organise something.
Gardenbirder said: I wonder if an east coast meet-up might be possible at some future date.
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