There was a planned RSPB SE Herts Group walk around Hooks Marsh and Hall Marsh Scrape in the morning and we were blessed with blue skies and warm weather for mid November! However, apart from brief views of a Water Rail, flyover Redwing and a Fox, the wildlife was sparse. My Plan B though was to head up to Ashley Pit after the official walk and try and find the Goosanders that always overwinter there. Fortunately, one male and three females were present. Initially they were not too distant but soon drifted off to the far side of the pit.
Beautiful birds and in lovely light! On the long trudge back to the car park a quick encounter with one of the bold Carrion Crows.
As I was passing the new Wildlife Discovery Centre, it would have been rude not to pop in.
One of the volunteers said the Bittern had been seen in the morning, but not for the past few hours. As he said there were quite a few people in the lower hide I decided to scan from the tower. Almost straight away I spotted it!
Time to zoom in for some shots. Shooting from this angle is unusual but it worked better than shooting straight into the light from ground level.
A brilliant end to the day, and in case you are wondering... I did pop down and let everyone downstairs know it was showing!