Off To See Bittern And Short Eared Owls -What Could Go Wrong?

About this time last year, this area of Titchmarsh LNR was completely flooded — in fact, due to the hole in my wellies and a cascade of icy cold water (which I remember only too well), we were forced to turn back. This year, in contrast, was just muddy — and I had new wellies!

We started off another dank and misty walk watching a pair of marsh tits, next to the iron bridge which crosses the River Nene into Titchmarsh LNR. A red kite lazily floated above the adjacent field and a black and white cloud of lapwings wheeled by over the lake.

But we were here to see the bittern….


My Dad off to spy a bittern

After laboriously squelching through the mud, we sat in a freezing cold hide, with windows too small for our camera lenses and slightly too high for us to look out of comfortably. Still we endured, scanning the opposite reed-beds expectantly …

For a very long time…


We did not see the bittern…

We did however see plenty of wrens hopping around in the reeds, several grey heron, a far off pair of golden eye and a field of sheep!




Sheep in a field

Anyway, later that afternoon, sure of success, we set off towards Finedon and Neville's lodge to see the reported short eared owls which had been showing well for the past few days. Unfortunately, not knowing exactly where we were going, we ended up walking straight past Neville's lodge, on what can only be described as an 'epic trek' through mud and more mud, until several miles later, boots weighed down with at least a baby's weight of sticky clay on each foot and dusk fast approaching, we finally returned to our starting point and a 'click' of photographers. Out of breath but relieved to be in the right place - we did NOT see the short eared owls!!

That's just how it goes sometimes, I guess!


Cleaning muddy boots…