The bittern, or aderyn y bwn in Welsh, is a very elusive bird and can often be difficult to spot amongst the reed beds that it favours. Its scarcity does not help our ability to spot this member of the heron family and usually most people hear a bittern rather than see it. The bird is most famous for its unusual booming call, which is so deep and bassy it can be hard to distinguish.
Visitors to Teifi Marsh however have been lucky enough to catch sight of this lovely bird.
Rhondda resident Colin Harvey was lucky enough to spot our resident booming bittern and fast enough to fire off a quick photo before the lovely bird disappeared again. Usually Colin does not visit the Welsh Wildlife Centre and Teifi in the winter/early spring months, so he was even more lucky to spot our bittern from the Kingfisher Hide on the reserve.
Bitterns spend much of their time in reedbeds and marshes and the decline of these habitats have not helped the birds plight. Thankfully we manage quite a number of reedbeds and have seen or heard bitterns on both Teifi and Parc Slip, near Bridgend.
So next time you are taking a stroll around a wetland reserve keep listening for that deep booming call, if you do this is so rare please do tell a member of staff, and you may be lucky enough to spot a bittern too.