American Bittern, Carlton Marshes, 10 April 2018

After a complete lack of enthusiasm for standing in the rain waiting for it on Sunday and work since then I finally dragged myself to Carlton Marshes this afternoon.

After the long walk out to Share Marsh on the western side of the reserve I was stood there scanning and chatting with the Burtons for just 5 minutes when the American Bittern was picked up behind us and gave good flight views along the bank before dropping onto Peto Marsh just over the bank. We hot-footed it back there and from the top of the bank. 15 minutes later it got up from the reed-filled ditch just 10 yards in front of us for some truly amazing views before dropping down into a small patch of reeds near the 'ramp' on the track. From there a little while later it then wandered into view across a grassy strip and went on to show superbly on the deck as it gradually moved away from us along the ditch that runs along the east side of the scrape. My mind was well and truly blown! It was a shame that I'd left my camera in my van expecting distant misty views at best!

Apart from a couple of singing Cetti's Warblers, a single Sedge Warbler, Snipe and several Marsh Harriers that was it. A classic after work twitch and my first American Bittern since 1991

Yearlist = 180

Steve Gantlett's amazing shot of the American Bittern when it flew up right in front of us is here 

   The circuit the American Bittern did today

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