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.)
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.
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.
The female (above centre) has a brown back, with pale front.
The juvenile, above, is brown and streaky.