Bit of Bittern

I will have to separate today's post into two because as you know me by now, when I see something rare and/or interesting, I will take a lot of photos, and today's American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus) was one of those things. The last time I saw a bittern was exactly one year from today, what a strange coincidence!

I think I first noticed this bird when I saw something flew from the marsh to the ditch while I was photographing a couple of Song Sparrows. However, when I got to where I think the bird landed, I only saw a couple of Mallards. But as I pedaled further along, I noticed this thing (below).

That's too bulky to be cattail reeds.

Once it noticed me staring at it and started moving, it's unmistakable that it's an American Bittern!

American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus)
When it moves, it also moves its neck slightly to simulate the movement of the cattail reeds. Too bad, there are no tall reeds around it to conceal its identity.

American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus)

And because the bank wasn't too steep, I decided to walk down to the bittern's level to take a closer look at this beautiful bird.

American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus)

American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus)

American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus)

When it tilted its head down, I knew it will likely strike (at something).

American Bittern with food
Catching a small morsel.

American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus)
Gulp and gone!

Then another biker came and started taking its pictures as well. I think this was when the bittern assumed this pose - to make itself look bigger and more intimidating (not really working but it was a good try).

American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus)
Time to let you enjoy your peace alone.

Thank you, bittern, for sharing a moment with me.

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