Ok I agree a bit of a blatant attention grabbing headline, but ti really did see bittern today, in fact I saw two, I must admit they were at Blashford Lakes, so not strictly in the area conventionally covered by this blog. I did get a picture though.
I was acting as a delivery service, which is how I came to be there, although I was not strictly working today. I also took the chance to add a couple of species to my yearlist. A couple of barnacle geese on Ibsley Water, although you can never be sure where they came from these looked pretty convincing as wild birds, being wary and commendably, avoiding the greylags and Canada geese. I also went up to Harbridge and saw 3 Bewick’s swan. Initially there were only two, but the third flew in and then went into a full greeting display with one the two already there, clearly these two knew each other well.
I did manage to miss the redhead smew that was again on Ivy Lake somewhere and also the great white egret that was on the river just south of Ringwood. I did see the most incredible gathering of shoveler on Ibsley Water, Rob Hume had just counted 1070 as I arrived, surely one of the largest gatherings visible form one point ever int he UK. There sites that get more but they are huge areas such as the Ouse Washes or Somerset Levels. I added a further 26 on Ivy Lake so there were very close to 1100 there today.