Image 016 (if you can see it!) is of a Bittern taken today. Bitterns have got to be one of the worlds best camouflage experts and they will test the most patient of photographers. I knew this individual was within 30ft of me and still it remained unseen for an hour and half. The only tell tale give away of its position was the cracking of reeds underneath its giant feet as it moved inch by inch through the reeds… and even then the reeds werent moving. Fortunately, after three hours of waiting overall, this bird finally gave itself up and showed well for about 10mins. I particularly like this image, as it shows the dense habitat they reside in and also how well they blend into their surroundings using their cryptic plumage.
As you can imagine, manual focus was used here as even the most advanced autofocus system would have struggled to get focus lock with the matt of reed stems in front of the bird.
Bittern, Botaurus stellaris, Gloucestershire, January, 2012.
Canon 1D Mk4 with Canon 500mm f/4.0 lens.