Monday 27 February 2012

Bittern up close

When I was on the phone to my friend in Holland last week, just prior to my meeting him for a trip to Norway I was bemoaning the fact that I'd seen a Bittern at Marazion but failed to get a photo.

"Don't worry, I've got one over here for you in my greenhouse" was his reply!

"Oh yeah, pull the other one!", was my response.

But sure enough when I got there he showed me this bittern that he had saved from a frozen pond at the back of his house. It had been close to death and was very thin. Fortunately it responded well after a few days of force feeding with fish and now it has put on weight and is feeding itself from a bowl of fish in the corner of the greenhouse.

I was amazed to see the variation in size when the bird got agressive toward "the hand that feeds him" and when I first looked in at him and he stood motionless with his bill facing the sky.

I know these aren't true natural history photos but it was a treat to get that close to the bird and great to see it doing so well for it would surely have died without the intervention of my friend Kees.

Take a look at a few pics and I'll post some more on my website when I get time.