Oh Dear, More Bitterns....

31st May 2017
Firstly, many thanks for all the good wishes received after my previous, self-indulgent, train-of-conscioussness 'blog' from my hospital in Putrajaya. I am fine, thank you, and pretty much was after a few weeks - in fact I had to be fine to get on the plane back to Blighty. Since then, despite a new healthy regime of kale/spinach and a modicum of exercise, I have reverted to normal curmudgeonly self. And, yes I am working and snapping normally.......

As my regular viewer will know, I have a thing about Bitterns! I’ll happily spend hours of leisure time waiting for one to appear.....… of course, it may not (it may not even be there), or it may just stick its head out and retreat back to invisibility. Occasionally however, after some dogged determination and a modicum of local knowledge one does appear and become briefly photogenic.

Last year a regular to’ing and fro’ing to its nest provided some half decent, full frame flight shots, but I have long craved a true photographer low-level position to snap the beasties, and at last, I found somewhere. Incidentally reeds which grow at about a foot a week have now rendered this place useless until next Winter.

I did manage a couple of sessions, and here are some of the results…..

There, that was mercifully brief wasn’t it?

You can wait for hours staring at the same bit of favourite ground - suddenly it's there and you never saw it emerge!!! Cunning.....

If you're lucky, you can pinpoint a nest in the roadbeds and (hopefully)the female will develop a routine when feeding the young and you get some decent fight shots

Earlier in the season the reeds are a bright green and the colours less complementary.... However, these few snaps illustrate how you can spot a Bittern as it climbs a reed, ready-to-fly, a safe distance from the nest.

A nice little series illustrating how Bittern fish - placing there bill half in the water and turning their head to one side. Usually ends up with a snack - boy, are they patient?

Not the easiest circumstances, but some extreme back lighting, which shows how they blend. Process ended up with the catching of a decent sized Perch

Finally, a low perspective and a compliant Bittern. Obviously, I really like the perspective. Its the shots where they look most like a reed-with-a-beak looking at you that typify.

Manual focus among the reeds

All images are full frame - at least 5000pixels longest side and suitable for print. Only resized for website use.