|Female Little Bittern by the River Colne at Stocker's Lake, Rickmansworth, this morning.|
I didn't have to wait long for the next opportunity to dip - another turned up the following spring, but near Epsom way over on the other side of the city the evening before I had to drive up to Scotland. Foiled again, but only for another year, and then I got to Rye Meads soon after a two-day male in mid-May had vanished. And that was my lot for the next 15 years ...
|Present intermittently for about a week now, the bird shows well at times, but can be very skulking on occasion.|
|Having spotted something to eat in the river, the compact fisher king stalks through the reeds towards its prey.|
1954 30 May – Nazeing GP; 20-24 August - Richmond Park; 27-29 August - Beddington SF
1956 18 June-14 July - two, Beddington SF*; 6-14 August - Beddington SF
1961 22 August – found dead, Weybridge
1976 17 October – Sevenoaks NR
1995 18 June – ad female, Hampstead Heath
1996 30 May-1 June – ad male, Epsom Common
1997 17-18 May – male, Rye Meads
* There was speculation that the series of records of this southern European vagrant from Beddington SF may have involved a breeding attempt (London Bird Report 56: 184-185), but this was not proved in Britain until 1984, when a pair raised three young at Potteric Carr, Yorkshire (British Birds 104: 495; Wilson and Slack 1996).