Second Chances - Least Bittern

The other day I went to one of my favorite spots in Lakeland to photograph some wading birds. I was having a fairly quiet afternoon when all of a sudden a Least Bittern shot up out of the lily pads and and flew in front of me in beautiful light. I was a bit slow getting my camera up and I couldn't track it fast enough before the opportunity had passed me by. I cursed to myself for not taking advantage of the chance that the bittern had given me, got back into my car and started the drive home thinking about the 'one that got away'.

Yesterday I had a few free hours in the afternoon and decided to head back to the same spot. I had no expectations of getting another crack at that flight opportunity, and resigned myself to finding some other opportunities.

Once again, a Least Bittern exploded out of the vegetation and speedily flew in front of me. Perhaps it was because I witnessed this same scene on my last visit, perhaps it was because I was a little better rested, perhaps it was just luck. Regardless, I was able to track the bird and get some decent flight shots.

I do see this species from time to time at that location, but not always. The fact that it was at the same spot, roughly the same time in the same light, it had me wondering if there was a 'glitch in the Matrix'.

To my Least Bittern friend: Thanks for the second chance!

Least Bittern in flight.