4th of March 2012.
WWT – Brandon Marsh.
Species seen 51.
On a really wet and windy day, before entering the reserve with my better half, we enjoyed lunch in the busy Badgers café, a real plus, were getting a window seat to watch the feeders while enjoying our lunch.
While out in to the dreadful weather and completely dressed for the elements, we decided an afternoon in the hides was our best option; therefore we made our way from one hide to the other.
Notables seen were Goldeneye, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Snipe, Pintail, Shelduck, Pochard, Great Crested Grebe, Oystercatcher and Kingfisher.
Our final hide was the Carlton hide where it was very quiet, a few Tufted Duck, Shoveler, Moorhen and Coot. Suddenly a Bittern was seen dropping in to the reeds, here began our patient wait to see if it showed?
An hour later to our surprise we saw a Little Egret cross in front of the hide on route to East Marsh Pool. I’ve seen a great many Little Egret's in Devon and Dorset and only one in flight before at Brandon Marsh, so this was a good bird sighting for the day, however it was not to be the best!
Seconds later, I saw what looked like a reed coloured post in the middle of the clearing, the bins confirmed a fabulous Bittern in full show, slowly it was striding along the grass towards the dead tree to its left. Looking up and keeping completely still like a statue, the Bittern, found itself being stalked by a Pheasant. The said Pheasant was moving rapidly towards the Bittern and looked menacing and at this point our Bittern took to the air and flew past the hide and off towards the river Avon.
The visit ended with a superb dark blue sky beyond the Newlands reed beds and the brief sunlight highlighting the reeds and pools made for an impressive view.