American Bittern

A little overcast today, but at least it was not raining. Probably the reason for the smaller number of people at Reifel for a Sunday afternoon. Apparently they had good numbers yesterday with the sunshine. Helping out on the trails again there were a few Northern Saw-whet Owls along with a single Great Horned Owl to show visitors. None of the owls were in vulnerable spots, thus not requiring steady attention by the volunteers.

While making my way out along the outer dyke and west marsh area I caught a fleeting glimpse of a sparrow working its way along below the trail deep in the bramble and bushes. What got my attention was some noticeable rufous colouring. Could it be my nemesis bird, the elusive Swamp Sparrow. I continued working the area, but could not relocate the bird. While doing this I spotted an American Bittern at the edge of the pond. It to quickly disappeared into the reeds, so at this point I was not having much luck with anything. As I continued to scour the trail for the sparrow the bittern flew back in to the area of wind flattened reeds next to the new viewing platform.

American Bittern
American Bittern

Finally a chance to get some shots of something and much to the delight of a few visitors that had been waiting since I had mentioned seeing one to them.

American Bittern
American Bittern

Likely the same bird that has been frequenting this spot for a few weeks now.

American Bittern
American Bittern

At this point it was getting too close for my lens, but I had nowhere to back-up to without loosing a clear line of sight. Not often you complain about this with an American Bittern. So I just sat back and enjoyed along with the others visitors that continued to come by. Occasionally I would break away to search for the sparrow, but never relocated it.