Little Bittern

Ixobrychus minutus

This little heron with its pale upperwing coverts is an uncommon resident and local nomad in reed beds across much of southern Africa (bar the really dry places).

My most memorable sighting of this skulker took place in May 2011 in Marievale Bird Sanctuary near Nigel. I had arrived very early and was making my way towards the main picnic site when I heard a rustling noise right next to the passenger window. Not more than 3 metres away stood a beautiful bittern catching the first rays of the morning sun.


Little Bittern / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, South-Africa / 22-November 2014 Little Bittern / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, South Africa / 06 May 2011 Little Bittern / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, South Africa / 13 July 2013 Little Bittern / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, South-Africa / December 2017 Little Bittern / Rietvlei Nature Reserve, Gauteng, South Africa / August 2019 Little Bittern / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, South-Africa / 22-November 2014 Little Bittern / Rietvlei Nature Reserve, Gauteng, South Africa / August 2019 Little Bittern / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, South Africa / 06 May 2011 Little Bittern (Payesii) / Rietvlei Nature Reserve, South Africa Little Bittern / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, South Africa / 13 July 2013 Little Bittern / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, South-Africa / 22-November 2014 Little Bittern (Payesii) – juvenile / Rietvlei Nature Reserve, South Africa Little Bittern / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, South Africa / 13 July 2013 Little Bittern / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, South Africa / 13 July 2013
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