Rare sighting: Bittern heron in the Brickpit

The Brickpit at Sydney Olympic Park is a haven for many protected and endangered species.

While working with the vegetation in the Brickpit on behalf of Sydney Olympic Park Authority, Jessica Kingcott from Total Earth Care managed to observe and even grab a photo of an endangered Australasian Bittern, a shy and rarely photographed species.

Bittern spotted in the Brickpit at Sydney Olympic Park

See the fairly camouflaged Bittern in the grass at the Brickpit at Sydney Olympic Park taken by Jessica Kingcott

The Bittern is a large heron that inhabits freshwater wetlands and is listed as endangered under both Federal and NSW legislation.

The species was once found in Queensland, through the South East of Australia and to Southern South Australia but unfortunately is now in decline due to continued wetland drainage, salinisation, and urbanisation throughout their habitats.

The Bittern has cryptic colouring that helps it to blend in with wetland vegetation particularly when it adopts its classic pose of standing perfectly still with neck and bill pointing skywards.

Only two other sightings have ever been recorded of this species at Sydney Olympic Park since 2000. The Brickpit is already known as a hotspot for biodiversity and the confirmation of an endangered Australasian Bittern reinforces this value.

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Parklands Ecologist, Sydney Olympic Park Authority

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Posted in Places & green spaces

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