Once Bittern

broads-bittern2Back to the thirties and Secrets of Nature, and through our time-warp binoculars we’ve spotted another broadland birdie: the bittern, described in the documentary as a ‘queer’ and ‘invisible’ character of fawn and brown stripes. Poor luv! Doubtless, such camouflage and the spear-like bill probably serve her well as she tends to her young.

Here’s the iconic boom of the male’s mating call, a frequent noise throughout the spring and summer, especially at dawn and dusk. One of my earliest memories of the Broads is being at Hickling Broad and hearing that curious sound – this seems even more special now, learning of how rare they are.

This was fun enough, but I’d like to try and focus more on that patterned plumage. I’ve something else in mind for the bittern, perhaps other birds too if I’m able to materialise the image. We’ll have to see!

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4 comments
  1. Rebecca said:

    He’s beautiful Jacob! I love the textures you’ve used. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Thanks, Rebecca – for this one, I made scribbles in various brushes and then turned the resulting mess into a brush of its own. It did achieve quite a nice texture. Photoshop for the win once more!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. jmnowak said:

    A nice rendition, jacob. Hope you’ll continue. I also enjoyed the film. To me the bittern looks slightly, but only slightly, like the NZ Kiwi, the bird not the fruit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Thanks, Janina! Yes – I can see a similarity, most immediately in the long beak. There will definitely be more bitterns to come, they’re a big part of the locality and just really characterful birds.

      Liked by 1 person

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