|nice Spring Iccy|
Sunday the 25th and it was just me and Mark, we had a bit later start while we awaited news to help us decide where to go, there were two snippets to interest us, a male Little Bittern in Greater Manchester and a Broad Billed Sandpiper at Nosterfield, we decided on the Sandpiper first and wait for more news on the Bittern. As is typical for Nosterfield the Broad Billed was distant to say the least but we had good scope views, we stayed with it quite a while as we deliberated what to do next still not being convinced about going for the Bittern at this stage. With the onset of a heavy shower we moved on initially heading for Staveley NR but after a couple more messages saying the Little Bittern was showing well we decided to chance it, dropped on to the A1, up to the M62 and across to Manchester then found our way to Elton Reservoir on the outskirts of Bury, upon arriving we were a bit lost and wondered if we were in the right place but along with a few other birders who arrived at the same time we worked out where we needed to be and sure enough as soon as we headed off in the right direction we saw a small crowd of birders overlooking an incredibly small marshy area at the southern end of the Reservoir and there it was, we had timed it just right and the bird was showing on the reedy edge of a small pool right from us getting there and then for the next hour or more eventually working its way into the corner where it was lost to view, a tick for Mark and only my second in this country. As we made our way back to the car we had a drake Common Scoter on the Reservoir and tried our luck photographing low flying Swifts, not easy, then on the way back home after an aborted attempt to find a Red Backed Shrike in Pontefract (we had no idea where to look) we paid a quick visit to the Quarry at Tadcaster where we had a Peregrine carrying prey to one of the nearby pylons. So five good birds this weekend unfortunately none were photogenic although I did get some record shots of the Little Bittern.