Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Far Ings for Bittern



As the weather forecast was good I decided on a return visit to Far Ings for an extended session in Ness Hide in hopes of seeing and photographing bittern.  One of the reserve's specialities, bitterns are members of the heron family and breed exclusively in reedbeds, feeding on fish, frogs and insects.  The song or 'boom' of the bittern is peculiar, far-carrying and very low and foghorn-like.  Once heard it is never forgotten and can be heard in the spring during mating time.  They are masters of camouflage and often stand with their beaks pointing to the sky and are nearly impossible to pick out from the surrounding reeds.

Although sunny it was a very different day to my last visit with a strong cold wind that blew straight into the hide.  I have had some very cold and long sessions in this hide and the three hours here today were no exception and sadly the bitterns did not put in an appearance. (The images here is ones from the archives).  During my time in the hide the gadwalls again gave good views while the tufted ducks and goldeneye remained distant.  A family of swans gave very close views while a cormorant amused those present as it grappled, unsuccessfully, with a large eel.  At one point a sparrowhawk perched on the reeds in front of the hide without giving clear shots before flying off.
To view large, please click on an image.
Bittern

Bittern


Cormorant with eel.

Male Gadwall

Heron

Heron

Reedbed

Mute Swan

Mute Swan

Mute Swan

Mute Swan
By the time I left Far Ings the weather had clouded over, but I decided to visit Bonby Carrs on the way home.  Again there was very little in the way of bird life, although it was very quiet and peaceful, the only sound that of running water.  There were mallard and teal in the drain and flocks of lapwing, fieldfare and starlings with one kestrel.  Continuing my journey home I drove up onto Elsham Wold on the way down to Melton Ross.  High on the Wolds the view out over the Ancholme Valley was extensive.  I was amazed at one point to realise that the view stretched over Wrawby to Lincoln Cathedral, silhouetted on the skyline of the Lincoln Edge. 
View over Wraby to Lincoln Cathedral from Elsham Wold.

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