Sunday, 15 November 2009

Roger Lane Reports. BITTERN

"Once the gales had calmed down this afternoon I spent an hour at Par, mostly watching the tide come into eastern stream! Note the Pool is now flooded, even the red marker is submerged ! On the eastern stream I was lucky enough to see the Kingfisher, again, it flew toward sea and Polkerris !
Rough old sea, could not see anything but gulls. Thus went to Par Beach Pool briefly, and got really lucky ! A large brown bird (Buzzard-size) flew from one part of the reed-bed to another part where it stayed (although not seen again). However, I have no doubt at all that it was a Great BITTERN ! The short flight was typical of those I saw in the late 1990's, and the only colour 'change' was the upper forewing which appeared lighter, even in the short flight.
A Bittern (or two?) is almost annual in the Par reed beds, but since it only flies twice a day (unless disturbed) it is seldom seen or reported ! It is said to be crepuscular and ONLY move at 'dawn' and 'dusk', but it must have been 'early to bed' for the Bittern today ! Not much hope of photographing since it is usually in the air for only 10-15secs, indeed it will take some seeing AT ALL ! As I say, I got lucky, some while since I've seen one there."

Thanks for the report Roger.
A great sighting well done.
I shall be looking with a lot more care at the reed beds from now on.

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