Saturday, 20 October 2012

Little Bittern at Kelly's Swamp

There have been several comments on the COG Chatline about the presence of a Little Bittern (Ixobrychus minutus) at Kelly's Swamp in the Jerrabomberra Wetlands.  Frannces and I were (more or less) in the area on 19 November so swung by for a quick look.

Thanks to a hint from other birders we swung into the Ardea Hide and soon found the bird.  It was about the limit of range for my camera, so the photos are not really good, but do show some interesting features.

The first is that the bird was wandering about in the open, rather than hiding in the Typha (reeds).
Once it even performed the pose of pointing its whole body straight up which makes it almost invisible when in cover.  In the open, it is more visible in that pose than when skulking close to the ground.  Look at tip of red arrow!
 The main purpose of this image is to show how small the bird is by comparison to a Purple Swamp Hen and a female Chestnut Teal.  At 30cm it is only twice the length of a House Sparrow,

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