Search

It’s boom time again for one of our rarest birds

14:12 15 April 2014

Photo shows a Bittern, the ilusive bird that is found in the Norfolk Broads.; Please credit: Andy Hay, RSPB Images.

Photo shows a Bittern, the ilusive bird that is found in the Norfolk Broads.; Please credit: Andy Hay, RSPB Images.

Archant

They may be one of Britain’s rarest bird – but they’re also one of the loudest.

shares

Titchwell RSPB Reserve has been echoing to the booming calls of the engimatic bittern over the last few days.

Wardens and visitors believe there are two males performing the birds’ loud mating call – along with a repertoire of grunts.

The reserve, near Hunstanton, is one of the ultra-rare bird’s last strongholds.

Warden Paul Eele said: “This has been the only noise we have had in the last two seasons. There has been a change this year, there seems to be a male advertising his presence. They can do that when trying to defend themselves.

“But I have heard one bittern grunting and another was booming behind me the other day, so my 
hunch is there is a second male.

“It’s quite exciting.”

The bittern is a member of the heron family, which is secretive and very difficult to see because it is well camouflaged and lives in dense reedbeds.

Mr Eele said a survey would now be carried out to assess the reserve’s population – meaning an early start for some.

He said: “The survey will mean that we will get to the site early as bitterns are at their most active at early dawn.

“We will listen and record what we hear and see what other birds are on the site.

“I think people like the mystery of the bittern and the difficulty in finding them. They make such a surreal sound, it’s great.”

The bittern is among Britain’s most threatened bird species, with less than 50 breeding pairs living in East Anglia and Lancashire.

After becoming extinct in 1886, the bird reappeared in the Norfolk Broads in 1911. Numbers initially increased until the 1950s, but then declined again until 1997, when intensive conservation efforts were launched.

Twitchers rate Titchwell as one of the best spots in the country when it comes to the chances of seeing one.

Have you heard bitterns booming this spring? E-mail natalie.copeland@archant.co.uk

shares

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Eastern Daily Press visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Eastern Daily Press staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Eastern Daily Press account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Most Read

Featured Pages

Most Commented

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 11°C

Listen to the latest weather forecast

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the EDP
digital edition

Subscribe

Broads Outdoor Festival

cover

Enjoy the Broads
Outdoor Festival
digital edition

Read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Enjoy the Eating Out
in the Broads
digital edition

Read

Great Days Out

cover

Enjoy the Great Days
Out digital edition

Read

Get Into Summer

cover

Enjoy the Get Into
Summer digital edition

Read