Wednesday, 11 January 2017

The Battle of Bittern

These bitterns really know how to put on a show but they don't get on with each other.  I had been sitting watching as the occasional bird flew briefly from one reed bed to another, testing my reflexes.  Suddenly a bittern jumped out so close that I didn't have time to adjust the zoom and lost what might have been a good photo.

It landed in the reedbed just in front of me but landed right on top of another bittern - who wasn't best pleased.  There was a brief fight, out of view, and the newcomer was unceremoniously dumped back in the water.

It swam around with its crest erect for a minute or so, trying to show it wasn't intimidated, but eventually took off and flew back to the bed it had come from.

I wrote before about the bittern's landing technique, which is to close its eyes, crash into the reeds and hope for the best.  Here's another example.  The colours on its wings are wonderful.

The original occupant of the reedbed briefly made itself visible to establish ownership, and then disappeared from view.

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