The Bittern Hide

Reedbeds seen from the Bittern Hide
Reedbeds seen from the Bittern Hide, 11.40 a.m., 40ºF, 6ºC. The Reedbed hide is just visible in the background.

swanRSPB Old Moor, 10.40 a.m., 39ºF, 4ºC, Reedbed Hide: We passed through a snow shower on the way here but as we walk to the Reedbed Hide there are only a few sleety spots in the wind.

Two mute swans are upending by the reeds as they make their way to their nest site, a mound of reeds.

grebetufted duckA great crested grebe motors over towards the swans, calling as he nears them (judging by the large cheek frills, this is the male). It’s a surprisingly loud call for what I think of as one of the quietest of wildfowl. My bird book describes the grebe’s spring calls as ‘a series of guttural far-reaching “rah-rah-rah” notes’. But, instead of skirmishing with the swans, as we thought he might do, he dives near them. Perhaps when he saw how large they are in close up he decided not to escalate the situation.

Mid-lagoon, two male and one female tufted ducks are diving.