Little Bittern

17 Little-Bittern-(10)-web

Little Bittern

Tiny , sharp-billed , thick-necked (in most postures), extremely skulking heron, with strongly patterned plumage in ♂ and characteristic pale forewing panels in both sexes. Smaller than a moorhen . Secretive but comes to feed at edge of reed beds. 

Due to secretive behaviour and habitat preference, most often seen in flight. Combination of small size, plumage pattern and wing action can suggest small duck or Corncrake. Flight action rapid for family, with combination of plumage pattern and clipped wing-beats adding to impression of speed. Enters cover with characteristic glide followed by sudden bank and pitch; when rising, feet trail noticeably and looks to be in difficulty. Walks easily, but in crouching posture; climbs freely through dense cover (even up reeds), and adopts vertical concealing posture when discovered.


Summer visitor April-October

Reduced Chance (RC) May see it, bird may be transient at many of the sites, low in numbers , may be seasonal, and a little luck is required.

Seen by myself  on two occasions in last 20 years , both time at edge of reeds, seen from a boat heading towards the beach ,but before the ‘dalyan fish net’ also seen near Köycegiz by Alan Gillbertson.

Photo Alan Gillbertson 

© Brendan Searson 2017