Odd looking heron - possible bittern - Awhitu

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Paul M
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Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:52 pm

Odd looking heron - possible bittern - Awhitu

Postby Paul M » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:42 pm

Greetings people.

I live on the Awhitu Peninsular.

I have twice seen an odd looking bird around a wetland and in the drains on a low lying farm near the beach where I live. I first thought it was a juvenile heron of some sort just by the way it stalks. It does fly however low to the ground when it does take to the air.

The closest picture I can find is of an Australasian bittern.

Image

Is this possible? I know other people who have seen it.
Jim_j
Posts: 460
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 1:04 pm

Re: Odd looking heron - possible bittern - Awhitu

Postby Jim_j » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:06 pm

Yep Bittern - cool.
Unfortunately one of NZ's bird now on the edge.

cheers
Jim
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RussCannings
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Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2014 5:23 am

Re: Odd looking heron - possible bittern - Awhitu

Postby RussCannings » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:23 pm

Just to be clear, is this the bird you have been seeing or is it a photo from the internet? If it's brown and streaky than it is almost surely a bittern. If you can get a shot though we could help confirm it.

Cheers,

Russ C
Paul M
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Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:52 pm

Re: Odd looking heron - possible bittern - Awhitu

Postby Paul M » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:05 am

This is a photo off the internet.

When I first saw it with a neighbor I thought it was a weka. But I am in the north Island so I was wondering how it got here. The longer I looked at it (from about 50yards away) the more I observed how it stalked the swamp like a heron. Then I noticed it had a long neck and of course it eventually flew off. It was heron sized also.
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David Riddell
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Re: Odd looking heron - possible bittern - Awhitu

Postby David Riddell » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:05 am

Definitely sounds like a bittern. I've seen one up the Awhitu Peninsula so they're certainly around there. There are a few weka in the North Island by the way, but none in that area.
David Lawrie
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Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 9:32 pm

Re: Odd looking heron - possible bittern - Awhitu

Postby David Lawrie » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:10 pm

Yes there are a number of Bittern in that area, so if it is brown then it is almost certainly that species.
the strange Heron I reported was nearly pure white so clearly a different bird.
Still a good sighting though, Bitterns are hard to find at the best of times.
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imogen
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Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:05 pm

Re: Odd looking heron - possible bittern - Awhitu

Postby imogen » Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:07 pm

The photograph shown is mine of a bittern taken in April. Good luck with the search, they are hard to find!

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