Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Little Bittern fourth issues forth

Fourth sighting for 2010 of Australian Little Bittern (Ixobrychus dubius) in Tyto this morning coincided with copy of The Bittern Chronicle ('Reed all about it') in day's mail.

For 2009-10, 38 Littles were recorded at 26 wetlands (mainly southeast and southwest mainland Australia); 94 Australasian Bitterns were recorded in 63 wetlands (mainly southeast and southwest, and Tasmania). No estimate is offered of total Littles. 'Threatened' status is sought for Australasians, which may number fewer than 1000 (NZ has 500-2000).

I am certain many more Littles are out there. But being smaller, quieter and living farther from birding hotspots means fewer reports. The surveys continue.

No shortage ever of White-browed Crakes (Amaurornis cinerea) in Tyto, though high lagoon levels mean many are stalking unseen through reeds and fewer are out treading the lily leaves. 
Click pix to enlarge  


mick said...

Interesting sightings and interesting habitat too. I like the waterlilies in both pics.

Gouldiae said...

G'day Tony,
Nice work to spot and photograph that Little Bittern, (as Pizzey says - perched in the reeds with a humpty dumpty appearance). I think both Bitterns are now very scarce around these parts.

Tyto Tony said...

Hi Mick: The lilies are a bonus :-) Green Pygmy-geese also like them, at times chomping into the small white swamp lily flowers.

Hi Gouldiae: Humpty with a rather long sharp nose, and an incredibly stretchy neck. Scarcity down your way is certainly indicated by lack of sightings, though the surveyors are mostly self-selected, so there are probably many large areas unsurveyed.

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