Female Bearded Tit at Walton Balancing Lake 05/11/2010 13:31 – Car Park SP879369
Speaking with Nik about the news he said “what did you go there for !?!!?” – Well, Linford was dead yesterday, Walton’s closer to work and I still needed Bittern for my Bucks year list – came my reply.
As I started down the boardwalk from the small car park I flushed something small from the boardwalk edge which moved off into the reeds, but I could still hear it moving around? Don’t think it was a bird as it didn’t give any contact call as it was flushed? So had my hopes up it could have been a mammal....a Water Vole? or perhaps a Mink :-( ? Anyway I couldn’t relocate it so started off further along the board walk and to the viewing platform. From here, I could again something moving to my left through the reeds (but this animal/bird was the same as the previous – it would have had to have crossed the footpath leading off to the 2nd hide. I now started to track the twitching reeds as the creature moved around my left and closer to me. I then realised it was a bird as it started giving ‘CHA - ing’ calls, with heart beat raised I started to think it didn’t sound quite right for Bearded Tit – a shorter “ping” from memory? The reeds kept moving and I could track this as it moved across my position and away from me. Panicking that the bird was not going to show itself and the movement now going away from me I started ‘pishing’ the bird. Again it still kept moving away to about 10 metre. I noticed the reed stems getting shaken more and more, I could still hear some “Cha–hing” calls as it went. So I finally used my bins as I’d been keeping them covered out of the rain, and started to track up the shaking reeds to finally see a female BEARDED TIT pop out on top of the Reed Mace between some greener leaved shrubs. This then moved off away from me, but at this point I’m sure I heard a ‘second’ contact call coming to the right of where that bird was (about 4 metres away). Then gone. No more views. (I then thought I heard 2 calls off to the right by the time Martin K and Rob N had arrived but they didn’t).
UPDATE 14:39 Rob N’s still on site and called to say he’s heard two Bearded Tits calling and briefly seen one at distance moving amongst the reeds.
The platform seems the best location – But please be very quiet once on site. Boardwalk SP880370
What a sweet Bucks county tick!