I have been trying to get a decent photograph of a Bittern for some time now to no avail so today I made my way down to Amwell and headed straight down to the White Hide where one had been videoed the day before. Surprisingly, Bitterns are easier to see in cold weather as they will often venture out on to the ice to get from one part of the reed bed to another. So I settled myself down with a packed lunch and waited for a Bittern to appear.
After about half an hour, one flew from the reed bed opposite into the ride and quickly disappeared back into the reeds. At least I knew where it was now. After another hour, it flew again, this time towards me and landed at the edge of the reeds opposite and quickly disappeared. Another half an hour went by before it eventually decided to make an appearance and emerge in full view from the reeds.
It then proceeded to walk hesitantly along the edge of the reeds towards the northern end of the lake.
Unfortunately, along this edge the ice is a bit thin and the weight of the bird (3lb for a male, 2 lb for a female) took it through the ice. The bird reacted by raising its wings, either to regain balance or to take to flight and then regained its composure.
And now to go in search of some close-ups.
For better reproduction of my photos, see my photo gallery at flickr.com/photos/seymourbirdies