Sunday, 25 May 2014

Little Bittern, Elton Reservoir

Little Bittern 1 adult male
Common Scoter 1 adult male
Common Tern 1

Year: 244 (Little Bittern); North West: 350

At last Elton Reservoir came up trumps! After dipping on the White-winged Black Terns at the same place last week, I made the grim journey along the M60 and through Bury with a heavy heart today. The threatening black clouds overhead did nothing to ease the feeling of impending doom, as I confidently expected to dip again with a bird which can be skulking and difficult at the best of times.

However, it had showed well this morning apparently, so I waited patiently with the ever increasing crowd of birders, hoping that it would perform again. After an hour though, it hadn't reappeared and the heavens opened. I decided enough was enough, vowed never to return, and started walking back towards the car.

I hadn't gone 100 yards, when I looked back to see pandemonium! Birders were running, others were peering through scopes, and the rest were clicking away at cameras! I joined the ranks of the former and legged it back to the crowd. After an anxious 30 seconds, I found the bird sitting in a small willow tree, an obscured view but never the less a big relief! Then it dropped down and was gone again. However, it was now clearly active again, so I waited a bit longer. Finally, after about another 20 minutes, it flew out of the willow and gave us all a 60 second aerial display before dropping down again into a bush. That was my cue to go. Elton Reservoir had redeemed itself...... for the time being.

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