Friday, 30 October 2009

The Elusive Bird and a Nice Surprise.

This is a rare sight for me a Bearded Tit not at the gritting trays at Leighton Moss.
I was perched in the Lower Hide photographing a Bittern and could hear the Bearded Tits call in the quivering reed-mace suddenly this male appeared for all of five seconds, thankfully giving me enough time to get a snap.
Unfortunately, it is as they all are at LM heavily manacled. As far as I know these birds don’t leave the site, so why this barbaric practice (in my opinion) exists here is quite beyond me. I did manage see one without rings last year and was overjoyed, as was one of the staff as he exclaimed “We’ll have him netted and ringed by tomorrow”! Sad.
As I have already stated I bobbed down to the Lower Hide with the intention of photographing the Bittern, I always make this pilgrimage in hope rather than expectancy, but this time my luck was in. With an empty hide at my disposal I paraded up and down on sentry duty inspecting both ends at regular intervals. Suddenly there she was appearing out of the reeds, of course my camera gear was at the wrong window. I retrieved my gear and hurriedly took some images thinking the Bittern would fly off at any moment, but no she stood bolt upright for about five minuets before spearing her head down into the shallows and spiking a pike. She then ran off with it gave it a bashing Kingfisher style and swallowed it. Then unbelievably she sat in front of the reed-bed for over one and a half hours. So much for the elusive bittern, mind will it ever happen again?


  1. Dave. Superb shots of the Leighton Moss specialities. Hope to catch you soon, possibly next week at the big roost!!

  2. Nice escapade David.Lovely images!

  3. Excellent images as always David. Your comments re ringing are a bit controversial though and you may collect one or two replies which go with a 'bang' on the other hand they mostly tend to 'keep their heads down.'

    Regards Pete.

  4. superb shots, I have never seen a bearded tit, but it is firmly on my list of things to see.
    Cheers Colin.


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