Saturday 16 June 2012

More gratuitous Little Bittern photography

There has already been a considerable surge in the number of Mistle Thrush Little Bittern photos on the net this weekend, due to the presence of a rather showy bird along the River Colne, near Rickmansworth on the edge of London. But I make no apologies for posting a load more – it’s a great bird!

Initially, views were largely obscured by vegetation, and even when you knew roughly where it was, it could seemingly vanish at will.


Several times, it would reach the edge of the reeds, almost showing in the open – before running across the gap and disappearing again!


On a couple of occasions, when a Moorhen swam past rather close, it stood stock-still with neck extended and bill raised – the “bitterning” posture.


Over the course of two or three hours, we watched it feeding voraciously on small fish and damselflies – on one occasion, taking a minute or two out to deal with a rather larger fish (perhaps Roach or Perch?) before despatching it:


And when it did occasionally come right out into the open, views were superb at no more than 20m distance across the river!


An excellent bird – and (given the lack of anything much else about) a fairly popular one! Cheers to Paul, Jono and Henry for company on a leisurely summer twitch, and good to see lots of familiar faces in the crowd: Dom M, Martin Reds, Messrs Croft & Fisher and Tony B, Roy W & Dave H, Adrian K & Andy F, Joan T, Mark R, Jake E, and I’m sure plenty more that I’ve forgotten…

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