Little Bittern at Edithvale, SE Melbourne

To: "BIRDING-AUS" <>, "BA VicGroup Sightings" <>
Subject: Little Bittern at Edithvale, SE Melbourne
From: "Mike Carter" <>
Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2008 15:48:19 +1100
Little Bitterns have been heard and occasionally seen at the Edithvale Wetlands SE of Melbourne intermittently since last October. Today, 28 January 08, we finally had proof of breeding. During a banding session targetting Australian Reed-Warblers (note another taxonomic split), at 07.00 this morning Andrew & Sarah Silcocks caught a freshly fledged juvenile in a mist-net. A strange thing about this catch was that this was on the North Wetland in an area where Little Bitterns had not previously been encountered, not at the southern end of the South which appeared to be the hotspot this year. We believe they also nested on the North last year but in an area of typha deemed by us to be more suitable. If they're happy to be in phragmites or sedge or in the transition thereof as well as in typha (cumbungi), then there is over 50 hectares of suitable habitat at this Ramsar Wetland. Separating the bird from Yellow Bittern proved a little less obvious than imagined. Thank goodness we took several photographs. This North Wetland is open to the public but the chance of seeing these birds is extremely low. Best chance is at dusk, either early morning or late evening. Numerous attempts fail.

Mike Carter
30 Canadian Bay Road
Mount Eliza  VIC 3930
Tel  (03) 9787 7136


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