Friday, 20 January 2017

An inadvertent twitch

There was a lot of excitement this morning as I walked around Weston Turville Reservoir. It was well below freezing and the sun wash shining, so I was there to enjoy the frost and the wonderful views across the water.

It seems everyone else was there to look for the bearded tit that was spotted there yesterday. I've never seen a bearded tit, other than on Springwatch, so I hung around for a while hoping it would appear right next to me and pose for a photo. There were some big cameras, scopes and binoculars on show and you could feel the excitement in the air. It seems I'd inadvertently become involved in a twitch! It was exciting, for about 10 minutes, then my fingers froze, my nose started to run and my eyes watered, so I left them to it and walked around the reservoir. I don't think I have the patience or the thermals for twitching!

Not a bad view while I waited for the bearded tit
Suddenly I heard a noise that sounded like a squealing pig at the waters edge. Then a brown blur skidded across the ice and disappeared into some reeds. I didn't get a very good look at it and I definitely didn't have time for a photo, but I think the noise was a giveaway. I'd seen my first water rail, or else there was a piglet sliding around on the ice.

I waited for a while to see if it would move or squeal again, but there was no sign of it. Then I jumped out of my skin when I realised I was stood very close to a heron. I only realised it was there at all because it moved it's head.

The walk around the edge of the water was beautiful, with the frost adding a bit of sparkle to everything.

I heard a woodpecker drumming in the woods and a little egret was sitting in a tree watching me.

Little egret
In the end the closest I got to a bearded tit was a family of long-tailed tits that were flitting through the bushes as I walked. Not as rare as a bearded tit, but still a lovely sight, and what a fabulous place to spend a frosty January morning.


  1. Come to Norfolk some time. I'll find you a bearded tit. Not always that easy to photograph though.