Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Least Bitterns are Great

Talk about a lousy name.  Chestnut bittern I could see.  Yellow-shouldered would be even better.  But Least?  Nah, we can do better.  After seeing a few presumed Least Flycatchers silently earning their monikers the last few days a Least Bittern was a surprise even if looking for one was a big reason to go to Galien River Park this afternoon.  I'm not sure what compelled me to look basically straight down over the edge of the tower but look down I did and this beauty staggered into view.

 It lunged fairly awkwardly from one little patch of reeds to the next, frequently half-flapping its wings for balance, for all the world acting more like some rail x yellowlegs hybrid than its more dignified heron-class cousins.

At one point it leaned waaaaaay forward, occasionally swaying its body back and forth like vegetation in the wind, but keeping its head frozen in place.
 It didn't end up striking at anything.

After a bit it took up shop and settled near invisibly under some overhanging dried vegetation.
 We enjoyed walkaway views that were by far my best of this species.

And in other news, there are actually some warblers in the woods!  A week of north winds seems to have paused for 36 hours or so, fingers crossed for an excellent day tomorrow...

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