Saturday, May 24, 2008

American Bittern


He saw it first and said, "Look" I glanced toward the shore of the pond and seeing the tall, vase-shaped bird standing there, said, "Heron". Then, while he was searching under the truck seat for his binoculars, I found it again through the lens of my camera and said, "Bittern".

It must have been aware of us too for it stood motionless, with its bill pointed upward, as Bitterns do, when they sense they are being watched. We were lucky to see this large wading bird so fully out in the open, for often Bitterns are more hidden among tall grasses around marshes and ponds; as is this one shown above, in an older photo from my picture archives.

12 comments:

Mary said...

Great photos! What an interesting way to "hide". It does look vase shapped! I like the long neck.

Becky said...

I've never seen a Bittern before. It must be difficult to spot them in such dense foilage. They blend right in. Thanks for sharing.

Sandpiper said...

Beautiful! I don't see them that often. They're so good at camouflage.

Stacey Huston said...

Very cool. Good find!

Mike - Fenphotography said...

WOW stunning, birders here in the UK go mad over Bitterns and will stay in one spot from dusk till dawn to see one. great post.

me ANN my camera said...

mary:
Their hiding may look humourous to an onlooker as it seems like they think they can't be seen if they take on the same posture as tall grass. And yes, I thought it looked like a vase!

becky:
I never go looking for a Bittern for they can hide quite well in thick grass and brush. All of my sightings of them have been chance happenings, totally by luck, and then they seldom hang around very long after they have seen me as well. One of the joys of birdwatching, and photographing them are the chance sightings you encounter.... you just have to have your camera handy when they happen!

sandpiper:
They are good at camuflage and don't you think their colours are so perfect for just blending in. Its reflection in the water helped define it I thought in the picture.

stacey:
We were very happy to find it. I will go back to the same location just in case it might be around there again.

mike:
I might hang around that long looking for some special sighting but in this case I don't know if the bird would :-) I'm going to check it out to see if I can find it again.

Mary said...

Ann? Please tell me that I'm right and this is your name? I've wanted to know what it was since I started reading your blog :-) It took me twice to notice...I saw it and thought it was a typo the first time.

me ANN my camera said...

mary:
Ah ha! You read the fine print and found me; Ann. :-)

Mo said...

As Mike said, the bittern is a very elusive bird in Britain. Great find and lovely shots.

Sandpiper said...

Aha! I've noticed your "ann" recently in a couple of places and wondered. :)

me ANN my camera said...

mo:
Isn't it wonderful how each can share their special bird wealth with each other over such distances. Like you did with your Dotterel and Mike does with his bird images too.

sandpiper:
Both you amd Mary are super sleuths! :-)

Kathiesbirds said...

How fortunate you were to be in the right place at the right time! I've only seen a bittern in the wild twice in my life! Great shots!