Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Bittern: believe it or not!

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned on the blog that I had visited Duddingston to try to 'fluke a Bittern'. Not having seen one at the site for around 16 years I was a little surprised when one was reported at the site a few days later. Despite a few folk searching it stayed well hidden (probably up at the west end) until yesterday when it was accidentally flushed and moved down to the east end of the loch.

I decided to make a dash there today after work. Apparently it had been seen on and off all day and I was delighted to pick it up skulking in the reeds as soon as I started using my scope. It was hunting just behind the outermost reeds and when stationary was virtually invisible thanks to its awesome camouflage. I watched for about 40 minutes by which time it was beginning to get dark and then unexpectedly was treated to a sudden 'bitterning' neck stretch and brief flight view. Sadly the light was well gone by then, so the flight shot is a little blurry (1/4 of a second at ISO800 - not the best choice of settings!!..). If you can't make it out it is flying to the right with green legs trailing behind it - the wings have ghosted out but the body and neck are, errr..., sort of visible... honest... Ah well, next time for the photography perhaps.


Stuart said...

I wish I could follow up my powers of prediction with subsequent views!
At this rate the Lothian year list bets are off?

Morg said...

To be honest I was pretty gutted to have predicted it and then failed to find it!!

Have you thought of putting a year list on Bubo? There are 9 folk keeping one on there this year. I'm doing well this year but normally start lagging once spring kicks off...