'Bumbarrel' is an old name for the Long-tailed Tit, everyone's favourite garden bird. And the reason they're called that is for the shape of their nest. It's almost spherical, with a little hole at the front, and made from a special weave of moss, lichen, spiders' webs and feathers.
Spent most of today in the park, of which just over two hours was spent looking over RSPB Vange Wick from a vantage point near Wat Tyler marina. Unfortunately, I was unable to find the first-winter Glaucous Gull which had been seen recently. The wind was strong and blowing straight at me, which made viewing difficult, at least that is my excuse for not being able to pick it out from the hundreds of gulls present!
Decamped to the scrape hide to warm up with a flask of coffee and within five minutes the Bittern flew across in front of the hide and landed in the reeds just left of center Five minutes later it flew again across the Veolia access road to the reedbed beyond. Last year I spent six hours sat in the hide before seeing the Bittern in flight, this time I never even had time to get my camera out!
The Little Grebe below, ventured into the cleared area of reeds in front of the hide, but I could not get it clear of reed stems.
I had a great day, catching up with some of the RSPB's South Essex team while drinking coffee and eating doughnuts!
Also managed brief views of a male Bullfinch, a species which has become difficult to find, a Ruff and 14 returning Avocets on the scrape.