Richard Smart - Nature Photography


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I heard Bitterns were back at Slimbridge (Dec 2011) so I made a trip to see them.  There were two but it was only on the third visit that I got some close shots right in front of the hide.  It can be a long job waiting for them but they are spectacular when you finally see them.

I visited Shapwick / Ham Wall reserves in Somerset during July 2010 and hoped I might see a Bittern.  I had only been there about 15 minutes when one rose from the reeds and flew over our heads.  The warden at Ham Wall had left posters around the reserve asking for details if anyone had seen Bitterns so I sent him these (grainy) photos and a map of where it was found.  He confirmed it was a female most likely flying out from a nest to find food as it was calling. It is a female because there is no blue marking at the top of the bill.