|Tufties (c) Bark|
The weekend was unseasonably warm, but still cool compared with the temperatures I had been experiencing the previous week in Fuerteventura. In the fortnight since my last visit to the moor Water levels have continued to rise yet still remain below target heights on all the main fields.
Bitterns were seen regularly at the weekend. On Sunday morning we had a bird fly over us at the “crossroads” area. It appeared to go down beyond the hide into the ditch that goes up towards Julys’ Meadow. From inside the hide we could see it stalking through the shadows amidst the dead and dried up Reed Mace.
|Bittern (c) Bark|
Out in the reedbed from both the first and the second screens there is a great deal of nesting courtship behaviour from the Grey Herons. Over and around the nest sites they fly in a very un-Grey heron like way, with necks outstretched and using a slow stalling flight. When they land they make a strange series of grunts and barks, quite unlike their normal harsh flight call.
|Grey Herons (c) Bark|
There were further signs of spring this weekend. A Curlew flew over the second screen on Saturday and on Sunday I heard and saw my first Redshank of the spring, by Monday morning there were three birds recorded in the webs count.
|Redshank (c) Bark|
Coot wars have broken out again on the southern lagoon. There were thirty or so birds out in front of the first screen. They really are very aggressive with each other and if two birds started to fight, just as in a pub brawl, other birds would come pattering over the surface to join in.
|Shovellers and Tufties (c) Bark|
|"Blondie" the leuchistic Pochard|
We are reaching that time in the year when we anticipate all sorts of exciting arrivals and changes. Like all of these things we tend to get ahead of ourselves and our expectations are unrealistic. Last year the winter came back in March and savaged us and wildlife with the beast from the east. Our optimism for spring should always be tempered with pragmatism.