Wary Black Bitterns (Ixobrychus flavicollis) had till today been too quick for me since they arrived as usual with flooding rains and overspilling of Tyto's main lagoon. The birds stand in shaded areas close to culverts and drainage pipes, waiting for whatever the outflow provides. Once flushed they commonly fly off to a tree from which they can keep an eye on any intruding threat.
This month brought four birds, almost certainly two pairs, though the birds stood alone. Each flew off when disturbed and seldom looked back, let alone took up any nearby position. There were territorial disputes, with one of the males (pictured) showing little tolerance for the other. My last few sightings suggest the bullied pair has quit the scene.
So photo opportunities had been limited to long-range shots, fast deleted in hope of something better. Which finally arrived today, but only after I saw a female fly from a favoured spot and vanish through the trees.
This male then rose from close by and - against recent experience - stayed briefly low in a tree watching me and issuing croaky grunts bordering on barking before scrambling higher through the branches and taking off after the female. Now I must hope to sneak closer in next few days.