The primary aim was to see the long-staying Purple Heron which has been frequenting the reedbed and ditches in front of Bittern Hide. In the morning we spent a couple of hours in the hide and eventually the bird flew up but unfortunately for those of us in the right hand side of the hide it decided to fly left and miles away! The views were OK but we wanted much better. The supporting cast was pretty good however with a Hobby, a number of Bittern sightings including one feeding in the near pool, Marsh Harriers and Bearded Tits.
Deciding to return for another crack at the heron later in thee day we headed to the North Wall next where we were delayed by a lady reserve volunteer who showed us a few superb digger wasp sp by the path. We had Bee-wolf, Weevil-wolf, Ornate-tailed Wasp, Green-eyed Wasp and Ruby-tailed Wasp. This included Bee-wolfs and Weevil-wolfs carrying their prey items of Honey Bee and Weevil which was awesome! Jus produced his pheremone lure along the North Wall and with the conditions not really good enough it looked like we were going to dip until a Six-belted Clearwing suddenly appeared from nowhere and posed nicely.
A lovely Yellow-legged Clearwing then obliged to another lure close to Canopy Hide but was too quick for my camera. My clearwing list had gone from zero to 2 in a couple of hours!
After the obligatory visit to the cafe we set out on a wander along the south side of the scrapes and scored with 8+ Spotted Redshanks, several Ruff, c80 Mediterranean Gulls (including several young), 5 Little Gulls (4 ad sum and 1 1st sum), Sandwich Terns, Common Terns and loads of Barnacle Geese with young.
We opted to spend the time until 17.00 (if we needed to) back in Bittern Hide where this time the Purple Heron gave us some great flight views after a wait of about an hour. Loads more Bittern action and another different Hobby plus White Admiral back by the centre rounded things off very nicely.