the water away from me and out of sight. A male GOLDENEYE kept my interest going while I waited for the Bittern. It's amazing how much time they spend underwater when they are busy feeding, more under than on, a very handsome duck all the same. The next day, again very sunny, at the other end of the reserve, the New Workings, were five SHELDUCK, three males and two females. They stayed for two hours and then departed to the west. This was the first sighting for me of these
birds this year. Last year they were first seen in mid January and I had expected them to turn up earlier.
A rather unusual occurrence happened on the 24th, Gordon Duffus spotted a TUFTED DUCK about to swallow a fish. We
were both looking through the viewing screen at Colebrook Lake South when he saw it. We couldn't tell whether the fish was dead or alive and was soon swallowed down by the duck. Neither of us had seen this before. Gordon did his homework
and researched 'Birds of the Western Palaearctic and found that they do occasionally eat dead or moribund fish but it is a very unusual occurrence.
The PALLAS'S WARBLER is still at Moor Green and has been seen on several occasions and was still showing very well, sometimes with a GOLDCREST and LONG TAILED TIT flock and sometimes on its own. On the 27th, Gordon and I again tried our luck at Grove Lake hide in an effort to see the BITTERN, if it was still there. As it turned out, we were well rewarded with probably the best views of it that we could hope for. It was viewed just a few yards in front of the hide, making it's way across the reed bed and I was able to take several photos of it. A WATER RAIL gave some very good views of itself on the Blackwater River on the 28th and didn't seem at all perturbed by birders looking at it from across the river, a distance of about 8 yards or so.