Sunday 16 April 2017

Little Bittern

The crake patch at Besor has turned up trumps again. All three crakes still there this morning as well as a Little Bittern. This is an uncommon migrant and I've only seen three before - all brief flight views. Strange thing is, I was thinking about Little Bitterns this morning and why I hadn't found any here this Spring. Bitterns are up there with crakes on my birds-I-can't-get-enough-of list so I was thrilled to find one that was actually watchable. This female bird gave the game away by creating vertical lines against horizontal(ish) vegetation.
 As I sat down to wait for it to relax it scarpered. I found it later - a lot better concealed.

Once again it scarpered as soon as I lost eye contact with it.
And once again I found it - this time deeper in the reeds.

Two male and two-three female Little, three Spotted and the Baillon's Crake are still busy in the pool. Almost impossible to take a photo the Baillon's with its head sunlit.

The chubby Spotted Crakes don't mind coming out of the shadows.
Clamourous Reed Warblers, Reed Warblers

and Sedge Warblers kept up a noisy performance. Great.

Distant views of Montagu's Harrier

and Great Reed Warbler (distance and heat haze = record shots)

In the last 48 hours two wonderful summer breeders have arrived on site: Rufous Bush Robin

and Roller.

Bee-eaters are looking for nest sites.

Here's something I didn't know - I had always assumed that sunbirds used their long bills to probe for nectar down the throat of the flower
but it seems as though they take a shortcut with this flower and stab directly through to the nectar filled base. No pollination trade-off here.

Had a quick look for wagatils at the composting site but the piles were being turned so I left.
 The 'xanthophrys' is still around though.

Finally a gorgeous blue flower - looks like Cichorium endivia but with fewer petals.

And a lucky shot of a dragonfly as I was waiting for the crakes to come out.

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