By avilover

Botaurus lentiginosus

Had a real thrill today spotting an American Bittern out in the open at Arcata Marsh. Usually this species is very inconspicuous, hiding in marshy vegetation, flushing very easily, and blending in super well. Incredibly this one was out on an exposed pond bank, preening and foraging in the mud. I was stunned to watch it walk up the bank and stand for a long while on the trail. Then it slunk across with its head very low, as if hoping to blend in with the ground, and cruised down and out of sight into the vegetation below. Shortly thereafter J spotted another one a few yards down the way, acting much more typically secretive with just its beak poking out of the grass. I've seen bitterns only a handful of times, and never so close or so clearly. I was riding a bird high all afternoon.

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