First winter bitterns return to Rye Meads

The first 2011 winter Bitterns have returned to Rye Meads nature reserve, in Hertfordshire.

Bittern spotted in 2010. Pic Peter-Hewitt

Bittern spotted in 2010. Pic Peter-Hewitt

Just one week after 1000 small silver rudd were released into the lagoon to provide much needed food for fish eating bird the first bittern has been seen at the RSPB reserve.

The bittern is one of the UK’s rarest birds, and they frequently over winter in the Lee Valley.

Last year two bitterns were seen at the reserve.

Their plumage is one of nature’s greatest examples of camouflage. They have pale feathers with dark stripes, allowing them to melt into the background of their favoured habitat; rendering them virtually invisible in reedbeds.

Louise Moss, RSPB Information Officer said: “Bittern’s are amazing creatures, here at Rye Meads we’ve been making sure our reedbed are perfect habitats for them.”

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