Commencing at 5am this morning a number of volunteers, (including quite a few who post on the site) conducted this years first Bittern survey across the entire Avalon Marshes by listening for and plotting the locations of booming male Bitterns. After assimilation of the data and allowing for possible double counting the final score was a minimum of 41 Boomers – possibly even more as some potential sites off the reserves were not visited.21 were on land owned by the RSPB at Ham Wall and adjacent areas.
This figure represents a continuing increase – The annual figures starting in 2007 with zero are : 2008 (2), 2009 (3), 2010 (14), 2011 (25), 2012 (29), & 2013 (33).
Thank you Jon, this is all very interesting information, especially as I'm not one of the early risers!
Thanks for posting the numbers. Great results then.
It was also good to hear so many Water rail & Cetti's warblers. Along with that low flying Sparrow hawk, and hearing bearded Tit that time of the morning.
Jeff - You can come on the next one in three weeks time – that will be a late night not an early morning ! Nice to meet you and show you around this morning Lee.
This is great news! I visited Ham Wall last April to hear booming bitterns on an early morning guided walk. You can read an account of it in the current (Spring) issue of BBC Wildlife magazine.