Bittern Monitoring in the UK: Summary of the 2009 Season
- A further increase in the number of booming male Bitterns to 82, up from 75 in 2008.
- No change in the same number of active nests, with 39 confirmed.
- A slight increase, by two, in the number of sites occupied by booming male Bitterns, up from 41 in 2008.
- A decrease in the number of sites with nests, with 18 occupied sites in 2009, two down on 2008.
- Booming confirmed at ten new sites (but nine 2008 sites were unoccupied in 2009).
- Nesting at Lakenheath Fen for the first time, with four nests confirmed.
- Seven confirmed nests in the Somerset Levels, up from two in 2008.
It has been encouraging that there has been another increase in the number of boomers this year, following on from the 47% rise between 2007 and 2008. However, the coldest spell of weather since the mid 1990s, in January and February, did appear to delay booming at sites across the country and no booming was recorded at nine sites that were occupied in 2008. On a more positive note, the ten sites where booming was confirmed for the first time were widely scattered. Reedbed restoration and creation work was undertaken at three of these new sites through the second EU LIFE Bittern project, which ran from 2002 to 2006.
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