I normally post all my weekend pics under the thread "Weekend Through the lens" but where there are active topics for specific birds I will also contribute to that thread if that's ok and not seen as duplication.
Here is another recent image of a Little Bittern from last weekend. I am particularly proud of this one as these birds are very shy and don't generally show themselves.
The Little Bittern (Ixobrychus minutus) is a wading bird in the heron family Ardeidae, native to the Old World, breeding in Africa, central and southern Europe, western and southern Asia, and Madagascar. Birds from temperate regions in Europe and western Asia are migratory, wintering in Africa and further south in Asia, while those nesting in the tropics are sedentary. It is rare north of its breeding range.
It is a very small bittern; at 27–36 cm in length, 40–58 cm wingspan and 60-150 g weight. The smallest specimens are perhaps the smallest herons on earth. It has a short neck, longish bill and buff underparts. The male's back and crown are black, and the wings are black with a large white patch on each wing. The female has a browner back and a buff-brown wing patch.Taxonomy
There are three subspecies:
Ixobrychus minutus minutus (Linnaeus, 1766). Europe, Asia, northern Africa; winters in sub-saharan Africa and southern Asia.
Ixobrychus minutus payesii (Hartlaub, 1858). Sub-saharan Africa, resident.
Ixobrychus minutus podiceps (Bonaparte, 1855). Madagascar, resident.
The Australian Little Bittern (Ixobrychus dubius) and the extinct New Zealand Little Bittern (Ixobrychus novaezelandiae) were formerly considered subspecies of the Little Bittern.Status
The Little Bittern is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.Behaviour
The Little Bittern's breeding habitat is reedbeds. It nests on platforms of reeds in shrubs, and 4-8 eggs are laid. It can be difficult to see, given its skulking lifestyle and reedbed habitat.
These bitterns feed on fish, insects and amphibians.