Mother bitterns dance chick to chick

I ended up wending my way to the Reedbed Trail at RSPB Ouse Fen again (Over side, as opposed to Needingworth). There were several birders there, monitoring Bittern behaviour and while I was speaking to fellow Geordie ex-pat Dave we saw four taking flight briefly from the reeds. He’d seen at least 7 already in the four hours he’d been watching. His dedication to the cause was echoed in his car registration which (almost) spelt out Bittern. Apparently, they were watching for females dancing chick-to-chick in the reeds as their offspring wander off and the mother attends to each one.

I, on the other hand, had a dog to walk, cattle to avoid and Marsh Harriers to photograph. There were Bearded Tits around making their unmistakable “pew pew” sound in one patch of reeds, but I didn’t see them, sadly. Still, lots of Marsh Harrier around, a couple of Kestrel and Buzzard, Goldfinch, Black-headed Gull, no Common Tern on this visit, Reed Warbler calling and darting about the reeds. A few Reed Bunt and an occasional Whitethroat. A flock of four Little Egret, and the usual Jackdaws, Rooks, Pigeons, Greylag Geese etc.

The Bittern photos didn’t come out well, the one above I snapped at RSPB Minsmere, so here’s a Kestrel instead.