NAPTON ON THE HILL WEATHER

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

๐Ÿ“– #72 ~ Golden Hour ⛄️

☀️6C Wednesday 20th December 2018 ~ Another visit to Brandon Marsh started quietly enough with a walk around the top and farm reedbeds. Not a lot on offer to be honest with the exception of a couple of Lesser Redpoll high in the poplar. The winter thrushes seem to have moved on, likely due to the fact that they've now thoroughly stripped the hawthorn of their crop and have taken to foraging among the leaf litter and local fields.

Bittern's sudden appearance
I settled into East Marsh Hide a short time later with no preconceptions. Having enjoyed amazing views of the Bittern during my previous two visits and the latest news had the Bittern relocating to Newlands reedbed I didn't expect anything too exciting.

One of several Bittern flight shots

Another flight shot
Therefore, you can imagine my utter surprise when the bird suddenly appeared in the open on the edge of the right-hand reedbed offering some unprecedented views. Unfortunately, as I was busy snapping away the bird suddenly took flight and headed for the channel over to the left. I must have about twenty different photographs of a Bittern in flight but can't offer one with the bird in the full frame due to the close proximity. Frankly, though, I'm delighted with how things turned out, especially with the camera completely on the wrong settings.

Peek-a-Boo ~ An Otter suddenly appears low in the reeds
The excitement didn't end there as shortly after, while all eyes were on the channel, an Otter suddenly popped its head out of the reeds. This presumably flushing the Bittern which burst out of the reedbed before circling and crashing back down, this as a Water Rail scurried across the channel, perhaps in fright. What a cracking visit๐Ÿ˜€

Otter nonchalantly swims off after the mayhem

Caspian Gull ~ Almost went unseen with all eyes on the Bittern!