Monday, 23 March 2015

Friday the 13th and my most EXCITING birding experience yet!

Friday the 13th for some reason has always been associate with bad luck, and when Mike and I headed up to Northfolk for a weekend away and a visit to the RSPB Minsmere (that day) I didn't expect to see anything exciting. We have only visited Minsmere once maybe two years ago and this was where we saw our first flash of a Bittern.
Since then we have been lucky enough to catch many other flashes of the allusive and secretive bird.

Taken a few years ago at RSPB Lakenheath Fen. My first image of a Bittern.

You can probably guess where I'm heading with this post already. We arrived around 12:30 and walked around the whole site starting at the North Hide, continuing along the coast to the East, South and West hides. We decided to save the Bittern Hide until last, so headed to Island Mere Hide as we were told that there had been good sightings of Bittern here as well as Otter. We were unsuccessful on both counts, but got some wonderful views of Marsh Harrier's hunting.

RSPB Minsmere Map

Little Egret wading

Marsh Harrier

Where they shot Autumn and Winter Watch!!

So after a little while we headed back over to the aptly named Bittern Hide for a watch. We were sat down in there for around 5 minutes with nothing of note on view, although we could hear a Water Rail making a racket in the reeds. Then all of a sudden coming from the left we saw a Bittern fly over and land in the reeds! Us including everyone else sat in the hide were glued in place hoping that he would come out for a few seconds, and to be fair we didn't expect he would. But he soon poked his head out of the reeds, then came out on full view and was out in the open fishing for a full 15-20 minutes, which in that time I think Mike and I too like a hundred photos of the bird between the two of us! Here are a few of my favourite shots!

At this point he had just moved to in front of the hide.

This was taken just as he flew and landed in front of where Mike and I were seated! 


  1. Wow!
    How lucky were you to get fantastic views like that Jeni?
    Sometimes it's just a case of right place right time.
    I can't remember ever getting views like that of a Bittern at Minsmere.
    Normally it's only flight views.

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