Bittern – 1894

Botaurus stellaris – A rare, occasional winter visitor.

The Bittern is now a very rare bird in Pembrokeshire, and there are but few instances of its occurrence of late years. It was more common fifty years ago, in Mr. Tracy’s time. He used to receive a few every winter, and, about the year 1842, he states that he had no less than thirteen Bitterns to set up, all killed the same week, the weather being very severe at the time. Bitterns have been obtained occasionally at Tregwynt, in the north of the county. Sir Hugh Owen has shot them at Goodwick. One was killed at Dale, February 2nd, 1888. Two were brought to Jeffreys, the bird-stuffer in Haverfordwest, in the severe winter of 1890. One of these was from Tregwynt.

 A white Bittern is said to have been seen near Solva, in the winter of 1886. It escaped slaughter, and was probably a Spoonbill. In former days, the Bittern was a resident wherever there were mires and reed and rush-grown bogs for it to skulk in, and was, doubtless, a common Pembrokeshire bird.

Mathew M.A. 1894, Birds of Pembrokeshire and its Islands

More about the Bittern in Pembrokeshire