Gruffalo Crumble!

Yesterday I couldn’t believe my luck as I opened up the hides and saw the profile of one bittern out to the right of the hide. As I watched he stretched his neck up to the sky on the lookout for something. It soon became clear what had caught his eye – another bittern. This bittern was walking towards it, with its feathers ruffled out and its wings held up above its back. The threatening poise worked as the first bittern flew up and across to the left side where it then ruffled its feathers out and stood its ground. It reminded me of a dinosaur with its face flaps held out. When I looked back to the second bittern it had already settled in to hunt and was in the process of swallowing a fish. As I continued my rounds I glanced over the silt pond and was completely astounded as I made out a bittern shape blob on the far side. Three bittern in 20 minutes can’t be a bad start to the day!

The last 2 days have been busy with visitors who have also been enjoying brilliant views of the bittern.

Today the bird ringers were in again and they had another successful morning resulting in a catch of 27 birds as follows:-

Siskin 16
Lesser Redpoll 9
Goldfinch 1
Blackbird 1

The Blackbird was originally ringed in 2010 and has been re-trapped in 2011, 2012 and of course in 2013.

This is a photo of the male Goldfinch – sexed as a male because of the red behind the eye.

Male Goldfinch by Kevin Sayer

Male Goldfinch by Kevin Sayer

Thanks to Brenda, Martin, Mark and Kevin for their help today.

Meanwhile I spent the day with families from the Ringwood and Fordingbridge Children’s Centres on the hunt for the gruffalo. We followed a trail meeting a fox, an owl and a snake along the way before finally finding the gruffalo hiding in the woods! We finished up by making some gruffalo crumble!

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