Ballarat Little Bitterns

Subject: Ballarat Little Bitterns
Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2000 08:37:13 +1000

G'day all

Thanks to the help from birding-aus folk I managed to find my first Little
Bittern on Saturday.  The location was Lake Wendouree in Ballarat.  I searched
the reeds behind the kiosk and walked around the embankment for about an hour
without luck (Baillon's Crake, Blue-billed Duck, Great Crested Grebe and easy to
see reed-warblers were compensations).  Then I walked for a few hundred metres
clockwise (north west?) along the lake edge and scanned any nearby reeds.  It
was a fluke but I managed to find a bittern moving in the reeds.  It quickly
froze - not upright but low and skulking and was very difficult to pick up.
Every time I moved a few feet to get a better view it took me a minute or so to
find it again.  Some kids on bikes came along and it skulked off out of sight.
This must be one of the hardest birds to see.  I never realised just how small
they are.

Anyone going to look for them here should start at the kiosk opposite the
botanical gardens and check all the reed-beds in the area.  I don't know about
time of day but a time when fewer people are around would probably be best.



Steve Clark
45 Carmichael Street, Hamilton, Victoria, Australia 3300
ph 0355 719 048

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