Naked Bittern Exposed

Post image for Naked Bittern Exposed

by Rebecca Nason on March 19, 2011 · 1 comment

in Birding Western Palearctic

Minsmere is the RSPB’s premier nature reserve on the Suffolk coast, East Anglia, UK, and luckily for me, just a stones throw away from where I live half an hours drive further down the coast. I do not visit as much as i’d like to or should, but when I do, I am always pleased to have paid a visit. Whether it be for birding, bird photography or just a brisk coastal walk (though nearly always a combination of all 3) there is always something happening at Minsmere, always a wealth of birdlife and natural history interest all year round it seems and I never seem to fail to have a successful trip there.

I took at visit to Minsmere yesterday with Phil, the main plan of action being to look for an adult Caspian Gull which has been present for some days now on the scrape. After some searching, we had good scope views of both an adult and 2nd year Caspian Gull so felt we’d achieved as we made our way to the cafe  for very delicious toasted sandwiches and a nice cuppa. We sat outside to eat and watched as Goldfinch, Siskin, Chaffinch, Magpie, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Robin, Blackbird all came down to the feeders, a Marsh Tit was a particularly nice addition at the feeders.

After lunch we decided to visit Island Mere hide where there have been recent sightings of Penduline Tits along with the usual Bearded Tits. We did not catch up with any of these though heard distant Beardy ‘pinging’ in the reeds some way off. A very smart male Hen Harrier worked the field margins towards Sizewell and a pair of March Harrier were displaying high above the reedbed. I photographed several Common Snipe which approached the wet grassy areas right next to the hide with some caution but eventually showed well. They fed frntically, then slept below the hide.

However the star of the day was yet to come, as with a rustle of reeds and several pre-appearance ‘BOOMS‘, a hungry male Bittern came into view and he started an evening fishing campaign in earnest. At first he was some distance away as he worked the wetter pools for tiny fish which he seemed very apt at seeking out and stabbing at regular intervals.  Later, the Bittern came a lot closer and right out in the open. I seem to see Bitterns well on most occassions I visit Minsmere, but to see one so ‘naked’ and ‘exposed’ away from the reedbed margins never fails to captivate and give a real sense of luck and awe –  just a great natural history thrill as a photographer and birder to witness. Bitterns are still scarce in the UK and there has been huge conservation efforts, very successfully, to bring the numbers of Bitterns at Minsmere and other UK locations up and back from the brink of UK extinction. Bitterns were absent from Britain for 25 years until they re-colognised in 1911. Minsmere is ‘THE’ place to see Bitterns, especially in the Spring, with the strongest population of breeding birds in the UK. In the winter months a great place to see Bitterns is the Lea Valley in Hertfordshire.

These are a small selection of my Bittern images from yesterday. I love the clean looking reflection one as the Bittern hunted for fish. The light and conditions were not great but the cloud cover made for quite pleasing neutral tones throughout. These were all taken hand-holding my Nikon D3s and 200-400mm VR lens.

. . .. .consuming a minnow.

At the end of his 20 minutes or so of prancing around in front of the hide, he took a dip and headed off to a different section of reedbed – a swimming Bittern, that was a sight I’ve not seen before!

www.rebeccanason.com

Random Posts:

    Grrlscientist: Journal Club: Evolution of the Hawai’ian honeycreepers: Hawaiian Honeycreeper evolution SUMMARY: Using a large DNA data set, researchers have identified the
    Category:Bird Research

    DaleForbes: new virtual Birding Game: So the basic idea of the Birding Game is that you can go virtual birding, click on the bird silhouet
    Category:Birding News

    Gunnar: Taita Falcon: Meet South Africa’s rarest bird – The Taita Falcon Africa’s Taita Falcon is so rare, that are very f
    Category:Birding News


Similar Posts:

    Rebecca Nason:Ruby Tuesday: MALE SIBERIAN RUBYTHROAT – SHETLAND, UK It has been a while since I have posted on Birdingblogs and
    Category:Birding NewsBirding Western Palearctic

    Rebecca Nason:Hawfinch Haven – 2 Days in Sweden: I have just returned from a brief but very enjoyable 2 days bird photography trip to one of my favou
    Category:Birding Western Palearctic

    Rebecca Nason:Aegean Rainbow Continued . . .: Every year produces new and exciting bird and wildlife highlights in Lesvos, no tours are ever the s
    Category:Birding Western Palearctic

    Rebecca Nason:Aegean Rainbow: Phil and I have been leading birdwatching trips to the Greek Aegean Island of Lesvos for 7 years now
    Category:Birding Western Palearctic

    Rebecca Nason:GGRRRRREAT REED WARBLER ON LESBIAN ISLAND!: GGRRRRRRRRReat REED WARLBER – one of the many highlights from our LESVOS 2011 Trip. Phil & I led
    Category:Birding Western Palearctic

Subscribe Now

If you enjoyed this post, you will definitely enjoy our others. Subscribe to the feed to get instantly updated for those awesome posts soon to come.

BirdingBlogs.com gives you top birding content every day!

  • http://magento-themes.jextn.com/ magento themes

    This is really an amazing and dazzling images, thanks for sharing the images here, will make sure to set this as desktop background, I have saved this image.

Previous post:

Next post: