Black Bittern

Sightings within the local survey area for the period 1 Mar 2012 - 31 May 2012. The local survey area is a rectangular area extending from Kingsthorpe NW of Toowoomba to the Mt Whitestone/Fordsdale area SE of Helidon.

Moderator: Mick Atzeni

Black Bittern

Postby Bill Jolly » Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:40 pm

A male Black Bittern must have been standing unseen within the vegetation on the opposite side of the creek around 4.30 yesterday afternoon (Monday 23rd April). The first I knew of it was an amazing head-on view that lasted somewhere between 5 and 10 seconds as it flew directly across the creek to this side, dropping immediately out of sight into the vegetated shallows hidden from view from the house by the fall of the bank.

I waited on the verandah, hoping it might show itself on a log perhaps or wander just into view, or even fly back across the creek. I was determined to wait it out, not to lose my concentration, not to let it get away unseen. But after about an hour and a half, with the light nearly gone - nothing from the bittern. Lots else, but no bittern. Then suddenly it was off, downstream, flying low along the middle of the creek in the half-light. Another 5 to 10 seconds of viewing with lots of shutter-clicking, and in the end two or three just recognisable pictures that are really unpublishable, but which for me capture the wonderful evocative experience of waterside birding at dusk.

An hour and half of watching and waiting, for a total of maybe 15 seconds
of Black Bittern. Well worth it!

Bill Jolly
Bill Jolly
Posts: 352
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 9:57 am
Location: Lockyer Valley

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