Amourobius ferox

Amourobius ferox
By Peter Byles

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

The Bittern picture



Thanks Andy for giving the pic (or a horizontal slice through it!) the honour of the header pic for the blog. As most will know there have been up to 3 Bitterns at Bosherston this winter largely as a result of the extremely cold weather pushing them from further east. On Saturday I went looking for one (combined with a dog walk with my daughter) and this bird was located (by Morris North) in the small reedbed at the southern end of the lakes above the beach. It was only 10 feet or so into the reeds, which themselves are only 10 feet or so from the path, so it was close! It was, however, very difficult to pick out amongst the reeds, but once I got the 'scope on it, the views were fantastic - it was a delight to show the bird to a number of passers-by who were out enjoying the sunshine. Luckily the bird stayed absoutely still, assuming we couldn't see it, bill pointing skywards, and I was able to take a series of pics using a Samsung NV3 (a little point and shoot camera) handheld up to my 'scope eyepiece (which was zoomed out to 20x magnification). The camera has a 3x optical zoom, which you more or less have to zoom up to, to avoid vignetting (i.e. looking like it was taken in a tunnel). Basically, I just got lucky that the bird stood as still as a statue, as 'digiscoping' is impossible with a moving target. Two original pics included here.

2 comments:

  1. Brilliant! What a sighting! You are a lucky man.

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  2. Do you think they will stay and breed? Is there a chance we will be treated to the booming sound of the male? I guess this is unlikely as they normally breed in East Anglia and Lancashire so this will be a big event if they stay. Bosherston is just on the north and west of their winter range. Fingers crossed though!

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