Sunday, 19 December 2010

Dinton Pastures (12/12/10)

Another bitterly cold today although it was bright and sunny.

Met up with the NE Hants RSPB group and we then walked out to Black Swan Lake and checked out the first area of open water where there was quite a close drake Goldeneye.

There were lots of gulls roosting on the ice but checking through them revealed they were mostly Black-headed with a sprinkling of Common.

Mots of the waterfowl were in a small area of open water and suddenly all the Coots decided to leave on masse but rather than flying they all started slipping and sliding over the ice - very funny!

We then walked around Sandford Lake which was all but frozen over and came across a small flock of Siskins feeding in alders.

Next onto Lavell's Lake (Bittern Hide) where up to 3 Water Rails (180) showed on and off by the island and on the far bank. I kept continually scanning the reeds for the Bittern but gave up and went outside to find a patch of sunshine and warm up a bit. As I did so I was called back into the hide because the Bittern was now showing (typical!). I went back into the hide and the bird was showing on the far bank just beyond the bund of the scrape. It actually showed very well in the sunshine.

We then walked around to the new hide on Lee Farm and it was my first visit (although I was a member of FOLL). All the wildfowl again was congregated on a small area of open water.

Finally we returned to the car park via White Swan lake. As I stood on a small jetty I suddenly picked up another Bittern clambering through the reeds and got two other people onto it. Suddenly this bird disturbed a third Bittern. The first one flew off left and the second one off right. The first tried to land back in the reeds but was pushed back up again by a Grey Heron and then proceeded to dive into the heart of the reed bed. We lost track of the second bird.

Wow, a 3 Bittern day, I've only had that once before on the Somerset Levels.

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