I knew they were back the other evening when I visited the lake, because I could see the bunched and bent reed stems which they or it, had climbed up, just like in the pictures here. But I was still surprised to spot this one today in the middle of the morning giving good views and not taking much notice as I watched and was joined by Dennis and Doreen. I must say it looked in superb condition in the slightly better light today and I hope it stays that way, they had a very hard time of it in the severe conditions of last winter. It's great to see them back, which is why i've gone a bit overboard with the pictures.
Other highlights today were two Little Egrets on the river, together with good numbers of Teal a splendid Kingfisher which brightened the early gloom and two Redshanks who were, like the Snipe last week, hitching a ride on the fast flowing incoming tide, on board a raft of reed stems.
There were plenty of Redwings in the sunken marsh feeding on the abundant supply of Sloes. Fieldfares were few and far between though but I did spot the one above who hung around just long enough for a sneaky snap for a change. Cetti's Warblers were still in good voice around the marsh as was a single Goldcrest and a good size flock of Siskins were seen flying over.
A small flock of ever welcome Long-tailed Tits pictured above and below passed through the Willows along Streamside, as did a single Treecreeper and another Siskin was seen, this time feeding on the Alder seeds. Thirty nine species in total this morning in about three hours, not spectacular but if i'd only seen the Bittern I would have been happy enough.