There are some nice birds on patch at the moment but they're the same ones that have been around for weeks, therefore I decided to go over to Exeter to look for the Bittern/s that have been showing well recently at the Double Locks Wetland/Countess Weir Pools/Riverside Valley Park, or whatever it's actually called! When I arrived there were already a couple of Devon birders present, with several more arriving later. One of whom threatened to delete my blog from his favourites if I didn't update it soon, ( I aim to please Roger). There were indeed two Bitterns. We saw one in flight and while we were intently looking at the area where it landed another bird suddenly appeared from the opposite direction. It was walking along the edge of the pool right out in the open but only for about 20 seconds or so, which was just long enough for me to get my scope on it and my camera in position... shame I had it on the wrong settings ( after taking night-time shots in London last week). Doh! Not to worry though, it did stay in view just inside the reeds for several minutes as it circumnavigated the pool, so I managed to get a couple of shots of it partially obscured. It appeared out in the open again all too briefly before flying out of sight. It didn't show again before hunger and cold forced me to head for home.
Can you see a Bittern?... Thought not. It is there though.
These were only my third ever views of a Bittern on the ground.
Once I'd had a spot of lunch and warmed up a bit I popped out on the patch to look at some of the local goodies. The Bewick's Swan was still near Steadcombe House, I was going to take a photo but it was standing right next to the corpse of a young Mute Swan. So not surprisingly I decided to give it a miss. I moved on to Seaton Hole to have a look at the Velvet Scoter flock, there are apparently twelve of them, but I could only see six today. They always have an attending group of young Herring Gulls, mopping up the leftovers I imagine. Even though they were too distant to digiscope I had a stab at it. I like a challenge. You can tell what they are...
While I was at Seaton Hole it would have been discourteous to have not paid a quick visit to 'The Handsome One' . He was on his favourite rock again, he's such a show off! Sorry for more of the same but I can't see enough of him...