Yesterday Phil and I visited Minsmere RSPB reserve to see the adult Caspian Gull which had been reportedly frequenting the scrape area. Eventually we had good scope views of both an adult and 2nd year Caspian Gull before heading to the cafe for a cuppa and toasted sandwiches. Later we headed back onto the reserve where we had a smart male Hen Harrier towards Sizewell, several Marsh Tits in the woods and half a dozen Red-throated Divers at sea. I also photographed a few Common Snipe which came in shooting distance, I really love photographing these birds. The highlight of the day however, came with a large male Bittern who silently appeared through the reeds next to one of the hides and spent 20 minutes or so totally out in the open hunting for fish. Although it was a cold, overcast day and the light was fading in the late afternoon, the conditions made for more pleasing natural tones in both the reed habitat and the cracking Bittern plumage. I was pleased with the results. A first for me was seeing this Bittern drop into the water and swim off to fish in another area once he had worked the area near us. . . .quite something!
Also of note yesterday (18th March) we ringed 3 Blackbird chicks in the nest we have been monitoring in Woodbridge, Suffolk. The chicks were 9 days old and perfect for ringing. Quite an early nest and both the male and female (see previous post about 'our' ringed garden Blackbirds) have been frantically feeding the chicks on soaked mealworms we've been sprinkling about the patio. . . . .nothing like a bit of supplementary feeding to help these early birds!