FW: [Birding-Aus] Australian Little Bittern in Brisbane

To: BirdingAus <>
Subject: FW: [Birding-Aus] Australian Little Bittern in Brisbane
From: Judith Hoyle <>
Date: Thu, 8 Jan 2009 20:56:02 +0000
Hi Birding Ausers

I meant to put this on as a general posting last night, but accidentally only 
replied to his email address.  Have forwarded Rob's response.  Best to take a 
scope if you have one!

Kind regards


From: : : RE: 
[Birding-Aus] Australian Little Bittern in BrisbaneDate: Thu, 8 Jan 2009 
11:05:33 +0000

Judith that's great news. The male flew from the eastern side of the marsh 
across passed the island with trees on and into the rushes on the far west 
(right as you say). I had my Leica scope and when it came out the views were 
great. It was 100% a full breeding plumage male. So the female was clearly 
frequenting the same area.  The call is not easy to hear is a low pitched 
quiet, barking like noise and I'd been listening to it for a while before I 
realised. I have seen many Little, Least, Yellow, Cinnamon etc. Bitterns and if 
they are breeding in this area - once they are feeding young they will become 
easy to see. I'll be back soon but i'm spending the weekend camping with my son 
and looking from grass owls........good luck - kind regardsRob Morris  
Brisbane, Australia

From: : : RE: 
[Birding-Aus] Australian Little Bittern in BrisbaneDate: Thu, 8 Jan 2009 
10:39:26 +0000

Hi Rob and Birding-Ausers, Gavin and I went out this afternoon to the site at 
5:30pm.  No bitterns calling.  Had good views of a Spotless Crake at about 
5:50pm.  At about 6 p.m we saw a Little Bittern fly into the rushes on the far 
right hand side of the wetland.  After a few minutes it made its way to the 
outer edge of the rushes, about half way down from the top of the clump.  We 
were able to watch it for about 20 minutes.  The view was quite distant (I am 
going back with the scope tomorrow!!), but enough for me to tick it. So thanks 
Rob for the information as this has sure has been one nemesis bird for me!   
Interestingly, the bird was almost certainly a female (or perhaps an immature) 
- quite streaked but certainly not the male in bright breeding plumage Rob saw 
on Tuesday.  Just after we found it we were joined by Peter Crow and his wife 
who were also able to get on to the bird.  Gavin got a couple of grotty 
unusable blurred photos and is keen to try again tomorrow for better shots. Did 
not hear a Lewin's Rail on that side of the swamp, but we heard one calling 
when we walked along the boardwalk on the opposite side of the road (going 
towards the Gateway).  It was on the far side of the water directly opposite 
the first lot of seats at about 6:50pm.   Kind regards Judith> From: 
> To: > Date: Tue, 6 Jan 
2009 21:59:19 +0000> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Australian Little Bittern in 
Brisbane> > > Last night I went to check out a report of a male (Australian / 
Black-backed) Little Bittern at Metroplex Wetlands in Brisbane - near the 
gateway bridge on the south side of the river. Having spent hours looking for, 
and not seeing them (at this and other sites) I wasn't hopeful. However, when I 
got to the bridge on Borthwick Ave. (looking south i.e. not towards the Gateway 
Bridge) a male Little Bittern was calling (a kind of soft croaky barking!) away 
quite close by. I spent the next hour until it was dark listening but not 
seeing him!> > This morning however, he was calling as it got light in the same 
area and at 5.30 sat on top of the rushes and then flew across the small 
wetland in typical fasion landing and showing briefly before disappearing in 
more rushes. 30 mins. later he was back on top (exactly where he went in) 
showing for about a minute and that was it for the morning (as I had to come 
into the office). He was in bright breeding plumage, and the calling would 
suggest he's settled in the area. > > A Lewin's Rail was calling away this 
morning (the ticking call) but the water levels are such that you'd be lucky to 
see it. I also had a small crake fly across a pond (looked like Spotless but 
the views were too brief). > > See:,153.100716&spn=0.002823,0.005665&z=18>
 > Rob Morris Brisbane, Australia > 
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