Saturday, 8 December 2012

Arlington Reservoir

Bittern - Arlington Reservoir
When visiting your own 'patch' I don't think I am alone in imagining birds in various locations as you do your usual route. I for example have an area of scrub where one day I will see a Wryneck! And I have some overhanging branches where one day a Night Heron will be perched etc! Then we all have birds that you dream about finding...for me on a concrete bowl inland they are pretty boring to be honest! Then you have birds you don't even think about finding...

I arrived at the patch to find good numbers of winter thrushes with perhaps 150+ Fieldfare and 40+ Redwing. I then wandered up the reservoir slope and slumped into the bench I always scan from. I had a quick look in front of Polhill's Farm House as usual, then a look under the branches for any skulking ducks etc then along the bank for perhaps a Water Rail...You can imagine my surprise when in a small Willow, on the edge of the fishing bank a bloomin Bittern was sat there...right out in the open! With a tiny amount of reedbed and less than impressive bankside vegetation this is not a bird I have ever thought about seeing on the reservoir itself.  I waited for my mate to arrive and we got into a position where we could get a couple of video's/photo's from. You can imagine our surprise when watching one another was flushed from the edge of the reservoir not 10ft from where we were standing! London buses eh! Amazing few hours and a real patch bonus!

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