05 January 2011

Bittern update

During the December freeze up to three Bitterns were seen at Sandy Water Park in Llanelli, this morning Ian Morgan sent me this picture and wrote: I went to see the bittern at Sandy Water Park last week....and this is what greeted me....what hope of finding the bittern!....it had probably left by then though!
Ian's experience highlights the difficulties in finding Bitterns even when you know they're there! There have, however, already been a few confirmed reports from our area during the first few days of 2011; Jamie Bevan sadly found a dead Bittern at Crymlyn Bog; Terry Tovey saw one feeding at Baglan; and Colin Wilke saw one flying over the WWT centre in Llanelli. Birds have also been seen at Kenfig NNR, so remarkably, it seems there's been a pretty reasonable survival rate when considering the extreme conditions experienced. The squares on the map below show the BTO winter atlas tetrads where Bitterns have been recorded. Large dots represent post-2000 records, smaller red dots pre-2000 records. The black-centred dots are for 2011. Birds have been seen at most of the likely sites now, so this is probably a good record of winter distribution in our area.

1 comment:

Mark Newton said...

I went down six times during the cold snap and didn't see one! The just after I had left on my last visit one was reported, typical!