As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Saturday 13 April 2013

‘Extremely rare’ bird spotted on the coast near Louth

Published on 09/04/2013 15:28

An ‘extremely rare’ bird with a boom described as being ‘like a foghorn’ has been spotted on one of the coastal nature reserves near Louth.

The bittern, a wading bird and member of the Heron family, features in a new report from the Greater Lincolnshire Nature Partnership (GLNP).

At one point in the 1990s there were just 11 ‘booming’ male bitterns in the UK giving it the EU’s priority species rating, though now there are believed to be around 75 breeding males.
Louth bird surveyor John Clarkson, who wrote a book entitled ‘Birds of Louth’ in 2007, said such sightings were ‘extremely rare’ in this part of Lincolnshire.

“They were perilously close to extinction at one point and are now heavily protected,” he said.

“But if you go to the right place and be very patient, you can see them , but they are very easily disturbed.

“They often give themselves away with their loud boom, which is their mating call. This can be heard usually in the early morning or towards dusk.”

Speaking to the Leader, John recalled in his book that there had only been one sighting of a bittern in the Louth area.

In 2004 a bittern was a brief winter visitor at a pond in the corner of a field near Julian Bower, off London Road, in Louth.

The bittern became all but extinct in Britain in 1886 after becoming a popular target for taxidermists, before slowly returning.

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