Bittern – 1994

Botaurus stellaris – ADERYN Y BWN – Sparse winter visitor. Not recorded from July to September

George Owen (1603) refers to Bitterns breeding in the “bogges” of Pembrokeshire. Mathew (1894) regarded the Bittern as a winter visitor, quoting many records including 13 killed in one week during the hard winter of 1842. Lockley et al. (1949) noted that two (one shot) were at Dowrog on 26 June 1909, a date suggesting possible breeding.

Lockley (1957) regarded the Bittern as “almost a regular visitor” in winter and that remains the position today, with occasional sightings in most years from a variety of wetland sites such as the Pentood Meadows, Dowrog and Llysyfran. More occur when they are frozen out of their winter quarters further east, the most recent incursion being in December 1981 when singles were seen at Pentood, Thornton and St Ishmael’s, with up to four at Bosherston Pools.

Donovan J.W. & Rees G.H, 1994, Birds of Pembrokeshire

DAVIES J.L. and LOCKLEY, R.M. 1947. American Bittern in Pembrokeshire. British Birds 40: 184—185.

LOCKLEY, R.M. 1957. Pembrokeshire. London, Robert Hale

OWEN, G. 1603. (Owen, H. 1894-1936. The description of Pembrokeshire by George Owen of Henllys.  London. Chas J Clarke)

More about the Bittern in Pembrokeshire