There's been an American bittern hanging out in a bush outside of one of the many Victorian hotels in Cape May. An easy lifer for several people at the Autumn Weekend. It occurred to Jeff Bouton of Leica that this bird was not in good shape. He had photographed it earlier in the day. So, as WildBird on the Fly and I were walking back from a banquet we ran into the Leica staff and went for the bittern.
Here is Jeff approaching the bittern in the rain. Note the bittern trying to camo itself by sticking its head upwards--great for being in reeds, not so good in front of a hotel. You will notice that Jeff is getting ready to put on his sunglasses (in the dark) you have to be careful with heron type birds, that sharp bill will go right for your eyes. We checked the bird and found no broken bones. It was a little thin but certainly not so bad that a little food couldn't help it. Often times during migration, birds get off course and exhausted and land in the worst possible spot--where there is no food to replenish their energy. We figured that is what happened to the bittern. We decided to take it to the Meadows where there is plenty of cover, plenty of frogs and fish.
The bird was full of piss and vinegar and made a hissing sound that is not on any bird CD. It had a good grip on Jeff and was more interested in attacking him than in being released. Here's poor Jeff in the rain (and can I add that it is dark--no street lights, no moon) with an angry bittern.
One last attack towards Jeff and the bittern was free! Gotta love an optics company that goes the extra mile to help a bittern in need.
Keep in mind that these are just a couple of the entries I'm able to do here. I can't wait to share more when I finally have some real time to blog. Like, last night I finally met Sibley for the first time--I felt color go up in my cheeks, I haven't felt that since I was 12. Yeah, I didn't live up to my mission. I totally geeked out.
I'm also running into quite a few bird bloggers--pretty fun and sweet.
More coming soon!