Lena Chow had an exciting encounter with a Black Bittern (Ixobrychus flavicollis) on the afternoon of 31st December 2010. The bittern was stalking its quarry, moving stealthily from dry land to the water edge (1st video). It took a crouched posture, moving very slowly and at times standing still. The throat area inflated and the tail flapped downwards in a somewhat circular motion, alternating clockwise and anticlockwise as the bird stalked its prey (2nd video).
The tongue of the bittern was seen flicking out a number of times as it moved down to the water edge (left).
The Black Bittern is crepuscular and nocturnal, meaning that it is active at dusk and dawn, rather than in total darkness or in daylight. During the day when it is raining and the sky is overcast, it also becomes active. In this particular instance, the rain had just stopped when the bittern appeared.