Wednesday 11 April 2018

American Bittern at Carlton Marshes in Suffolk

American Bittern photo by Paul Rowe

On Monday 9th April i travelled up to Carlton Marshes in Suffolk with RR and our target bird was the American Bittern which was first seen over the weekend.

We arrived at about 8.10am and made our way around to the area other birders were waiting to see this surprise find , by the time we got there and set up our scopes it was approx 8.30am and then we heard a shout and i instantly saw the American Bittern flying past us and eventually dropping down out of sight into the vast reed bed.

Another flight shot.

It was great to see it so quickly and i had great views of the American Bittern seeing the distinctive wing pattern through my scope .

Unfortunately my camera was still in my bag as we had only just got there , i wasn't to worried as i always  go on the mantra that seeing the birds distinctive features come before getting a photo and i would surely get another chance to get a photo.........

Wrong , we were there for another 5 & half hours without so much of a sniff of it , thank goodness we saw it when we did , this was a lifer for RR and a welcome year tick for me (i saw the Martin Mere bird ).  

American Bittern photo by Paul Rowe.

Although we never saw the American Bittern again whilst we were there we still saw some good birds such as a distant Barn Owl , several Marsh Harriers food passing plus 2 Swallows which were my first of the spring, we also saw Chinese Water Deer .

Many thanks to Paul Rowe for letting me use his great photos of the American Bittern , very much appreciated.

Special mention to the SWT BROADS staff for their fantastic organization of this successful birding trip , they have a fund raising page at :