We had an unusual visitor yesterday. This American bittern came to our pond at about 7:30 in the morning, and stayed until about 4:00 in the afternoon. It might have been around later, but we went to a football game. It hasn't been around today at all.
We have mosquito fish in the pond, recently donated by friends of ours, and I suspect they're what drew the bittern. Its movements are extremely slow and stiff, its posture hunched, and it gives the overall impression of someone trying to get away with something, but with a guilty conscience about it.
Fortunately, if it ate any fish, it didn't eat them all. It dropped a stick on Maryelizabeth's head, from atop the ramada, but that seems to have been its worst crime. And it was fascinating to watch. We won't mind if it comes back, as long as it leaves the fish alone.