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Monday, 30 July 2012

First Time Seeing an American Bittern!

Out for a usual walk to Halls Rd. and a look out over Cranberry Marsh. Well, thanks to an older gentleman and avid birder from Lindsay, Ont., we were able to realize that there was a lone American Bittern sitting out in the marsh. He was a bit of a reach for my lens but the pic at least shows him. We were allowed to view him through the man's binoculars so I knew where to look for him after :-) He said that he had an MP3 player with a speaker on it and would try a call of the Bittern to see if it would respond. Well, another appeared, flew into a tree, and both were calling. We were treated to 3 then, flying around, probably due to the playing of the call. I got ok shots, not fantastic, but enough to see some markings and shapes of these new to us birds. It was real fun and quite a treat. This person we ran into told a funny story about a snowy owl call he used from his MP3 player at one time, explaining that these bird sound recordings sometimes have a bunch of different calls all in a row and you'd not know what one call over another would mean to a bird. Turns out he used a snowy owl call at one time, it scared a ton of small birds out of trees and caused the snowy owl to fly at him lol!

The Bittern has the most odd call, almost like a large frog. Googling American Bittern and looking for videos of it's call bring up many examples. Speaking of frogs, there were also quit ea few of those of varying sizes to be found at the marsh. Beautiful moon was in the sky as well.

NOTE: We have since discovered that what was pointed out to us to be an American Bittern was most likely a juvenile black crowned night heron.


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