Sunday, 29 April 2018


There I was on the evening of the 7th watching a film with my wife when at about 10.30pm a message popped up on my phone saying an American Bittern had been seen in Suffolk! It turns out one of the volunteer wardens had taken some great shots of what he thought was a Eurasian Bittern at Carlton Marshes NWT near Lowestoft and had posted them on Twitter as such. Alarm bells then began ringing with the first people to see them and sure enough it was an American!

American Bittern. Thanks to Craig Shaw for his photo

Plans were made for a visit the next day with George and Matt and we were on site just after 9am. The hours ticked by and the rain started and stopped and with only a Barn Owl and Marsh Harriers to keep us interested we decided to call it a day at about 12.20pm and headed back on the 15-20 minute walk back to the car. We had just stepped into the car park when the warden came out to tell us that 10 minutes after we'd left it took flight alongside one of our Bitterns and dropped down again! He said he was heading back and did we want a lift! We settled into place again and thankfully 45 minutes later a bird got up. It was the American Bittern! 15 seconds of flight views showing the distinctive upper wing pattern and it dropped down and for those quick off the mark it showed in the field for a few seconds. Happy with that we headed for home with a most unexpected mega on our lists!

At the time of writing its still present and at times giving amazing views feeding in the ditch so I might have to go back for seconds!

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