The rare Bitten bird is found incredibly sparsely within the UK, and was last bred in Wales as long as 1984.
The bittern is a distinctive looking bird with buffy-brown plumage, which is intersected with black streaks and markings. It has broad, rounded, bow shaped wings. The Bitten is a member of the Ardeidae family, so is a close relative of herons.
However, the past 20 years has encompasses a breeding and conservation effort, including creating more nesting habitats, including the valley wetlands near Holyhead. Staff and Volunteers at the RSPB comment that they are pretty pleased with progress thus far, describing themselves as pretty confident that the birds have successfully bred, with chicks to be expected to be arriving in the Autumn. The success of this breeding at Holyhead’s wetlands means the reintroduction of species into Wales which is a massive victory for bird conservation.
Despite Bitterns being relatively large birds, most would be unlikely to see one of these beautiful avians. This is because they are, as aforementioned, extremely rare, but secondly that they hide in long reeds. You will know they present only by their signature loud booming call. If you do see (or hear) this very rare bird, consider yourself extremely lucky! Those who know where to go, and with the pacience to wait will be the ones to catch a glimpse of these gorgeous feathered creatures.
The news will be a delight for birdwatchers who stay at self catering anglesey accommodation all over the island to view the scenery and wildlife every year.
In the UK these are unfathomably rare, in 1996 there were only 11 booming males in the entirety of the UK, with non in Wales. Because off conservation effort, it is believed that we presently have more bitterns currently than we’ve had in the past 100 years.
We’ll have to check back in Autumn-time to see if the breeding was successful, but with staff and professionals are ‘confident’ that it has been, we could well be having more bitterns in the UK very soon.
2016: The Year of the Bittern!