Bittern – records

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

Previous records are summarised in Bittern 1994

The right-hand column shows the number of individuals that were recorded in that year.

1995Singles Penally Ranges 16 Nov (G&KBH), Dowrog 11 Dec (JB), Trefeiddan 26 Dec (JB) and Pontiago 31 Dec (IM).4
1996Singles Dowrog 3-26 Jan (JB), Trefeiddan 7 Jan (JB) and Bosherston pools 29 Dec (TJP).3
1997Widespread hard weather at the beginning of the winter resulted in a Jan influx, some birds staying on into March. 2 Bosherston throughout Jan, one remaining until 23 Mar (RJE, RJH et al), singles Llys y fran 2 Jan (DJA, TJP), Dowrog 3 Jan – 8 Feb (JB, JRH et al), Heathfield GP 4-6 Jan (SB), Ffynone 6 Jan (DL) and at nearby Afon Dalais 13 Jan (PG), Teifi Marshes 25 Jan (JWD) Skomer 19 Mar (SS) Upper Haythog 20 Mar (RM)9
1998One Shoals Hook 23 Dec (Jba)1
1999One ‘booming’ Teifi Marshes 6&7 Aug (DR), one Bosherston 14-27 Nov (LL,PM,AW)2
2000One St David’s airfield 26 Dec (JB)1
2001No records 
2002Singles Goodwick Moor 5 Jan (CB), Teifi Marshes 15 Jan (WWC staff) and Marloes Mere 14 Dec (SJS).3
2003Singles Westfield Pill 21 Jan (AJH) and Pembroke M P 26 Jan – 27 Feb (JH et al), Broad Haven (N) Nov (BN, TW)3
2004One Pembroke M P 3 Jan – 28 Feb (PKG, JH), with 2 there 21 Jan (JH), one Teifi Marshes 13 Nov (RB).3
2005Singles Teifi Marshes 19 Oct (AKP, JP) and 16 & 22 Nov, and 17 Dec ( per JG)3
2006One Trefeiddan in Jan (JBe).1
2007No records 
2008No records 
2009A good year for records of this species in 2009 with reports of single birds at : St. David’s Airfield on 2nd Feb & 4th Mar and on the Teifi Marshes from 14th Feb until 15th Mar then at the other end of the year from 7th to 20th Nov (probably present until the end of the year).3
2010A single at the Teifi Marshes from the 14th Jan until 8th Mar when it was joined by a second and a third was noted there on the 11th. They were last recorded on 22nd Mar when both birds were seen to fly up high and head off north.
Elsewhere singles at Bosherston 13th & 28th Jan, at Fortunes Frolic on 18th Jan and at St Davids Airfield on 1st Feb.
At the other end of the year all singles at the Teifi on 21st Oct, at Newgale Marsh on 11th Dec, Newport on 20th Dec, at the top of Newgale valley on 26th Dec, at Freshwater West on 30th Dec and three together at Bosherston on 25th Dec.
14
2011First recorded at Bosherston with a single bird on 8th Jan, this had increased to two by 7th Jan. Presumably these birds remained as two were recorded during February until on 4th March the number rose to three and then four on the 5th. The last record for the early part of the year was of three on 7th March. One on the Teifi Marshes 6th Mar.
At the other end of the year singles at Teifi Marshes 5th Nov, at Castlemartin Corse 1st Dec & two at Bosherston from 14th Nov until the end of the year
9
2012Singles reported at St. David’s Airfield on 8th Feb, at Goodwick Moor on 24th Feb then probably the same bird flying over Fishguard on the evening of 5th Mar, at Pantmaenog on 29th Feb and on the Teifi Marshes on 21st Nov.4
2013The only records were: at the Teifi Marshes on 14th Jan & 7th – 12th Nov, at Castle Martin Corse on 9th Feb and from Bosherston, two on 3rd & 4th Feb, a single bird on 16th & another 17th – 30th Dec.7
2014Single birds were at Gupton Farm on 30th Jan & 27th Feb and at Castlemartin Corse on 27th Feb. At the other end of the year, a bird was seen at Bosherston on 13th & 29th Dec and one on the Teifi Marshes all December5
2015During the early part of the year single birds were recorded at the Teifi Marshes on 4th & 22nd Jan, Bosherston on 17th & 30th Jan, Castlemartin Corse on 18th Jan & Freshwater West on 21st Feb. Later in the year single birds were recorded at Castlemartin Corse on 29th Oct, 7th & 22nd Nov, with two on the 7th Nov, and at the Teifi Marshes from 16th Nov until 18th Dec7
2016A single bird at Teifi Marshes from 18th Jan until 4th April with two there on 21st March. Singles at Llangloffan Fen on 30th March then at the other end of the year at Stackpole on 15th Dec & another at Teifi Marshes 29th & 30th Dec.5
2017Up to two reported from the Teifi Marshes on 3rd Jan – 13th Apr and singles at Goodwick Moor on 9th Feb, at Stackpole Court 28th Feb – 2nd Mar and one on Skokholm on 6th May was the first record for the island.5
2018The only record was of a single at Newgale 16th Feb.1
2019No records0

Records above extracted from the Pembrokeshire Bird Reports which may contain more information.

More about the Bittern in Pembrokeshire

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

Bittern – 1980s winter

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

The darkest colour on the map for the BTO winter atlas of 1981-82, 1982-82 and 1983-84 represents 3 or more birds seen in a day. In Pembrokeshire 4 at Bosherston was the maximum.

Graham Rees

Data collected by volunteers for the BTO. Lack, P. 1986 Atlas of wintering birds in Britain and Ireland. T & A.D. Poyser.

More about the Bittern in Pembrokeshire

Bittern – 1949

Botaurus stellaris stellaris

Probably bred formerly (George Owen listed it as breeding in 1603) and occurs fairly regularly in winter to-day.  Tracy killed thirteen in one week of very hard weather in 1842.  Mathew mentions it at Goodwick, Tregwynt, Dale (2 Feb 1888).  

O.Wynn records two (one shot), Dowrog 29 June 1900; one caught there March 1903; and one shot there winter 1915.  One shot St David’s winter, 1908-9; and another seen Stackpole, 23 Jan 1909 by W.M.Congreve who was told that one or two appeared there every winter.  One shot, Dec 1927, at Marloes (R.M.L.)  Bertram Lloyd records one shot St Davids, Feb 1927 and 1929; one shot, Fishguard, Jan 1928 and 1929; and one shot, near Pembroke, Jan 1920.  Others on record are: one shot Solva Jan 1928, and one seen Tenby Marsh, Jan 1943 and Jan 1947.

R.M.Lockley, G.C.S.Ingram, H.M.Salmon, 1949, The Birds of Pembrokeshire, The West Wales Field Society

More about the Bittern in Pembrokeshire

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

Bittern

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

Bittern – records

Botaurus stellaris – ADERYN Y BWN – Sparse winter visitor. Not recorded from July to September Previous records are summarised in Bittern 1994 The right-hand column shows the number of individuals that were recorded in that year. 1995 Singles Penally Ranges 16 Nov (G&KBH), Dowrog 11 Dec (JB), Trefeiddan 26 Dec (JB) and Pontiago 31 […]

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 […]

Bittern – 1980s winter

Botaurus stellaris – ADERYN Y BWN – Sparse winter visitor. Not recorded from July to September The darkest colour on the map for the BTO winter atlas of 1981-82, 1982-82 and 1983-84 represents 3 or more birds seen in a day. In Pembrokeshire 4 at Bosherston was the maximum. Graham Rees More about the Bittern in […]

Bittern – 1949

Species account from the Birds of Pembrokeshire, 1949, by Lockley, Ingram and Salmon.

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 […]