A Black Beginning and a Brilliant End

Bird News: Ibsley Waterblack-necked grebe 4. Ivy Lakebittern 2 (or 3), water rail 3, Cetti’s warbler 1.

No pictures today I’m afraid. I opened the Tern hide this morning and looked across to see if I could see the black-necked grebe to the north-east of the hide and straight away found it, then three more. Later all four got together, I suspect the three arrived overnight on migration. All were in more or less the same plumage, about half way between winter and summer, they moult very quickly so if they hang around for a week or so they will look very fine indeed. Sadly I could see no sign of the 4 ruff reported yesterday, but then I could see no sign of the black-tailed godwit that they had been with either.

At Ivy North hide I failed to see a bittern, but did see 2 water rail and heard the Cetti’s warbler belting away. Further scanning of Ivy Lake from there and Ivy South hide did not reveal any signs of the smew, which may well have left, nor of the ferruginous duck, which was rather mysteriously reported yesterday after a long absence.

After a wildlife free day, I went round to close the hides and was rewarded with good views of 2 bitterns at Ivy North hide, one standing and the other hunting just below the hide, about as good an end to a day as you can get.

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