Eurasian bittern at Marievale????

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11 years 2 weeks ago #3115 by nkgray
nkgray created the topic: Eurasian bittern at Marievale????
This afternoon at about 4:30pm I was at the northernmost point of Marievale (S26.32290 E28.51381) trying to photograph Little Stint in the pan right next to where the road ends and one starts walking when I heard a strange call coming from deep inside the reeds.

I made two mental notes. First, it was like a 2-tone ship's foghorn. Second, it had the resonance of the Ground Hornbill call.

On going through the Roberts CD in the past hour, ruling out all the herons, crakes, rails, flufftails, and other bitterns, I am convinced that what I heard was a Eurasian Bittern.

I am unaware if the Eurasian Bittern has been heard/seen previously at Marievale.

Anyone got any other suggestions as to what the call might be?

Neil Gray

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11 years 2 weeks ago #3118 by gordon
gordon replied the topic:
Hi Neil,

I am on leave this week and am going down to Marievale today. I will have a look/listen and see if anything is around...

I have sent you a Private message as well.

Cheers
Gordon

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11 years 2 weeks ago #3120 by Errol
Errol replied the topic:
Interesting indeed, but not at all impossible. Lots of suitable habitat. Bittern numbers have recovered significantly in the UK and we might well get a spin-off from these.

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11 years 2 weeks ago #3126 by gordon
gordon replied the topic:
Back from a day at Marievale. I sat for about 4 hours this morning along the northern boundary fence with no luck. I then proceeded to bird the rest of Marievale, rewarded with a sighting of a single African Jacana.

I went back to the northern section in the late afternoon and while walking around the edge of the reed bed heard a loud, very deep call coming from deep in the reeds. I only heard it call once so cannot make a positive ID.

If anyone knows what else could make such a deep call with two parts to it, then please let me know as I am not sure what else it could be?

I am going back early tomorrow morning to try and be there at sunrise.

Cheers
Gordon

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11 years 2 weeks ago #3131 by Doug
Doug replied the topic:
Two parts? How about Little Bittern. I think Eurasian Bittern tends to be single noted?

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11 years 2 weeks ago #3132 by nkgray
nkgray replied the topic:
Doug,

The Little Bittern has a single note call, not as deep and more of a "bark", compared to the Eurasian Bittern's two-note deeply resonant call.

While I was listening to the call yesterday I had a Little Bittern fly past, along the line of the pans, i.e. between me and the reeds, so it was the first call I checked when I got home.

Neil

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11 years 2 weeks ago #3133 by Doug
Doug replied the topic:
I was hoping Gordon could get down there with the recording equipment to try and record the call but unfortunately that was not possible.

Time will tell if we can find out what is down there.

Sounds very interesting.

Gordon did describe what he heard as even deeper pitched than on ostrich which would rule out little bittern.

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11 years 2 weeks ago #3134 by gordon
gordon replied the topic:
Just back from my morning trip to Marievale but with no luck on the possible Bittern, not even a squeek!

After listening to the CD's, I would not be surprised if it is one. The only thing I am not sure of is if any of the other reed bed dwellers have a call similar to the Bittern that is not on record??

I do think it is worth keeping an eye and ear on those marshes though.

Cheers
Gordon

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