This winter, as it has been much warmer than last winter, we have had 3 Bitterns present (there were 7 last winter), and they have remained fairly elusive and distant for most of the winter so far. That was until a couple of weeks ago. I was on half term, and was talking to someone who told me that the day before, a Bittern had flown to just in front of one of the hides in the afternoon. Given my previous experience of discovering that they are somewhat habitual creatures, I went to that hide in the afternoon, and sure enough, at pretty much the same time, a Bittern flew and landed about 25 feet away about a metre above the water.
After this experience, I was back on Sunday, when I heard that it was showing from the same hide. Needless to say, I legged it to the hide where I found it packed with people. The Bittern was concealed behind a line of reeds, and did very little for about an hour and a half, during which time many people got bored and left the hide. The wait was worth it though, because it then started coming closer as the previous one had.
One of the things that is good about photographing Bitterns is that when they are going to fly, they usually give you quite a bit of warning as they cannot just launch themselves out of the middle of the reeds, but instead usually gather together several reeds in their feet, before clambering up them, and taking off from there.
That's all the Bittern images, and I doubt that I will better them this year, but who knows! If I do want to better them though, I don't have much time as by the middle of March they will be back at their breeding sites in Europe.
Thanks for reading