This morning Bob C and I carried out a count of all the wildfowl over all the lakes in the area. The counts of many species were down from last months totals, as to be expected at this time of year, with many species heading north and east to their breeding grounds. For example today we counted 166 wigeon, a big drop down from 881 last month. Coots peaked in December with 1006, with numbers steadily dropping each month, with 554 in February and 236 today. We did have some good records including 4 black-necked grebes on Ibsley Water and and the long staying long-tailed duck on Ivy lake. Notable sightings off the reserve where around 30 sand martins over Rockford lake and 3 green sand pipers on the shoreline.
But best bird today was in the afternoon when a visitor reported a bittern at Ivy North hide. This is the latest ever record of a bittern on the reserve so we couldn’t resist going and having a look. We managed to time it perfectly as the bittern showed out in the open briefly for a just a few seconds before wandering back into the reeds.