Local Name (Spain): Avetorillo común ("Common Bittern")
Featured Subspecies: Ixobrychus minutus minutus
The Common Little Bittern is easily the smallest member of the Heron Family found in Europe - my first glimpse of this species flying away from me up a river and my first thought was some species of crake until I saw it's face. They are a secretive species, yet seemingly not so much as the great Bittern, and their smaller size allows them to be present in smaller reed-beds than it's relative could hide in. At El Pardo I saw my first individual which was fairly showy in that it stayed in the open for an extended amount of time once it had landed - I saw far more at Arrocampo reserve near Monfrague National Park, but these individuals were really only seen in transit from one reed-bed to the next.
Subspecies: I. m. minutus, I. m. payesii, I. m. podiceps
- Sighting Locations -
SPAIN - Locally common resident- MADRID 2016 TRIP: Seen in small numbers at El Pardo (one or two birds seen) and Arrocampo (at least 2 individuals)
Further Notes: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuides, BirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red List