Bird News: Ivy Lake – bittern 1+
I have very little news today as I was off site for even longer than I was yesterday, another meeting at Testwood and another failed attempt to see the firecrests and hawfinches.
When I opened up the hides this morning I saw very few birds of interest, but it was a good morning for mammals. As I approached the badger sett I heard a dog fox calling close by so I stopped and stood, the fox came into view and went to the sett. It dropped down into one fo the holes on the east side and almost immediately came out again pursued by a vixen. after a brief tussle the vixen went back underground. the dog then sat for some time on a fresh pile of earth, he looked my way several times but did not seem to see me, aalthough I was stood in the middle of the path in full view, After a few minutes he trotted off towards the Centre and I went to fill the bird feeders.
Heading towards the Ivy South hide I found a group of 3 roe deer and got a reasonable picture of one of them, a young buck, you can see the small antlers covered in their soft velvet. Roe deer do not rut in the autumn like fallow or red deer but in late summer and the doe then delays implantation of the fertilised egg until about the New Year.
Although I did not see any birds of note at Testwood, I did see a rather older roe buck, although it was in full retreat and did not hang around for a picture.
When I returned to Blashford in the afternoon it seemed that the bittern had once again been performing very well just below the Ivy North hide and had been seen catching a good sized perch, just as it has been a couple of times recently.