Another of the reserves I visited was Mere Sands Wood near Rufford.I was accompanied by my friend Brian Rafferty from Preston.Brian initially introduced me to the reserve a few years back when a Kingfisher was present,however on this occasion it wasn`t to be seen.Maybe the harsh Winter was to blame for its non appearance!Reports of Bittern `showing well` drew us both there this time.Whilst waiting for the Bittern to appear, this Heron was engaged with quite a large bream that it had caught, try as it might it could not swallow the fish and in the end gave up in frustration.
This female Goosander wasn`t to be outdone though.She had taken a good sized Crucian Carp and after a bit of a tussel swallowed the unlucky fish in one.It just goes to show the richness of these waters when carefully managed.They provide a vital food supply for a lot of water birds that congregate here during the Winter months.Plus it keeps them away from Angling society waters whose members frown upon them for pillaging their fish stocks.
So we`d initially come to see and photograph the Bittern which had set up home here for the time being.After much patience and scanning of the reeds, it finally showed its self in front of the hide.Though views were rather limited, it was still great to observe this master of camouflage amongst the reeds.
If you look closely you`ll be able to pick it out in its reedy home.
Again its hidden,concealed amongst the reeds!
Although not the same bird as above,this is how one looks out in the open!!