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Least Bittern in Ramona

I took a walk this morning at Dos Picos County Park (which is open). I was surprised to hear a Least Bittern chuckling away in the reeds, and then was surprised again to find a second one! I was finally able to see the second bird through the screen of reeds, but not well enough to photograph. The bird was laying prone, and I believe it was on a nest. I could see the head moving around, and the eye was always on the same level as the back, which was horizontal. It continued to sing non-stop, giving its chuckling call every few seconds. According to the Bird Atlas, egg dates may range from Aril 1st, although the nests I have found in past years have been much later in the season. I do not know if the first bird I found was the mate of this one (do both sexes sing?), or if there are two territories here.  I checked the Atlas and the Ebird records, but I see no previous reports of Least Bitterns in Ramona.


Also at the park I had a Cassins Vireo, a Nashville Warbler and a couple of Black-throated Gray warblers. The amount of bird sound was amazing, and I sent quite a bit of time trying to fibure things out. The YR warblers are singing, as are the RC Kinglets.



I tried to get a recording of the bittern, but you have to listen carefully to hear it with all of the other bird song going on!


Nancy Christensen



Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports