Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus

Little Bittern male
Little Bittern female
The Little Bittern lives throughout mainland Europe, sub-Saharan Africa and part of Asia and is an occasional visitor to UK. (The nominate subspecies, here, does not visit sub-Saharan Africa.)
Little Bittern male
Little Bittern neck stretched
Little Bittern male
It is much smaller than a Night Heron and is one of the smallest of herons at up to some 35 cm in length. Like its larger cousin, the Bittern, it is secretive and lives in reeds.
Little Bittern male
Little Bittern
Little Bittern male elongated
The adult male (above) has a black back and pale front. Like big Bitterns, they elongate (above right) and sway with reeds when hoping not to be noticed.
Little Bittern pair
Little Bittern female
Little Bittern female
The female (above centre) has a brown back, with pale front.
Little Bittern juvenile
Little Bittern juvenile
Little Bittern juvenile
The juvenile, above, is brown and streaky.