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  • Blog Post: Sites for sore eyes

    I gave a talk to an audience of RSPB members and started by asking them to close their eyes and imagine they could be transported to one of their favourite places. Now, asking your audience to shut their eyes is a risk - especially after lunch on a warm afternoon, but most appeared to open them again...
  • Blog Post: BBC’s One Show features a very special place

    The RSPB’s Minsmere nature reserve is a real Noah’s ark for Britain’s wildlife. Minsmere will always be associated with the return of avocets to the UK – nesting on land flooded as part of wartime coastal defence against invasion. It was the place the last breeding marsh harriers...
  • Blog Post: Lydd in perspective

    I read this speech when I was feeling disappointed by the decision by Shepway District Council in Kent to approve the development of Lydd Airport – and it lifted my mood. I’d watched the webcast from the council chamber in Folkestone into the night and you could see from the tenor of the...
  • Blog Post: 2010, that was the year that was. Part 1.

    Well, as we come to the end of the first full year covered by the Saving Special Places blog – what have been the highlights? Here are some of mine – but do add any you think I’ve missed. (There'll be second post tomorrow). We’ve managed a post roughly every two and a half...
  • Blog Post: Twice Bittern don’t be shy.

    I’ve been hoping to bring you this news for a little while – we’ve just confirmed that there are two bittern nests this year at Dungeness. There was booming in 2009, one successful nest in 2010 and now two. Booming (the male bittern’s weird far-carrying call which you can hear...
  • Blog Post: Tough times for bitterns

    The big freeze cropped up in this blog yesterday – and it is inevitably going to occupy our thoughts for some time to come. For wild birds, the impact is likely to be felt well into the future. Yesterday I focussed on Dartford warblers – we are considering whether it will be possible to...
  • Blog Post: The Age of Avalon

    In 1997 there were just 11 booming bitterns in Britain. Bitterns, once memorably likened to a toasted heron by a young visitor to one of our reedbed nature reserves, have had a tough time. Driven to Victorian extinction, the fortunes of this secretive wetland dweller during the twentieth century were...
  • Blog Post: Survival of the fittest?

    Exactly 150 years ago, in 1859, when Charles Darwin wrote On the Origin of Species, the countryside around his Kent home would have looked much the same as it does today. However, the father of evolutionary science would probably find it incredible to realise the number of changes which have taken...
  • Blog Post: The return of England's most curious bird

    We had some great news to tell about one of the oddest birds in Britain this week – the bittern . The shy reed dwelling birds – whose instantly recognisable call lends them their nickname ‘boomer’ – were in serious trouble throughout the latter half of the 20 th century...
  • Forum Thread: Surprise Bittern

    Hi everybody, I joined the community a while ago but have only today brought my profile up to date and started exploring. No photos today I'm afraid but I'm sure I will have something to offer in future. The reason for posting today is that I went fishing this morning at a local lake and although...
  • Media: Bittern

    Avril Taylor and T.Keith Bruce were enjoying the views from Fen Hide when this Bittern flew across the reeds to the left of them. Keith is a fantastic wildlife photographer and had his camera with him (as always!) so was able to quickly grab this record shot of the bird through the hide window before...
  • Media: Bittern

    Avril Taylor and T.Keith Bruce were enjoying the views from Fen Hide when this Bittern flew across the reeds to the left of them. Keith is a fantastic wildlife photographer and had his camera with him (as always!) so was able to quickly grab this record shot of the bird through the hide window before...
  • Media: Bittern captured at last!

    Not the sharpest given the close crop but pretty pleased to get a couple of snaps of the Bittern today after getting the otter last week. There was a large party of members at the hides this afternoon but after they left it was quiet (and cold) but worth hanging around!
  • Media: Bittern

    Avril Taylor and T.Keith Bruce were enjoying the views from Fen Hide when this Bittern flew across the reeds to the left of them. Keith is a fantastic wildlife photographer and had his camera with him (as always!) so was able to quickly grab this record shot of the bird through the hide window before...
  • Media: Bittern

    Avril Taylor and T.Keith Bruce were enjoying the views from Fen Hide when this Bittern flew across the reeds to the left of them. Keith is a fantastic wildlife photographer and had his camera with him (as always!) so was able to quickly grab this record shot of the bird through the hide window before...
  • Media: Bittern

    Avril Taylor and T.Keith Bruce were enjoying the views from Fen Hide when this Bittern flew across the reeds to the left of them. Keith is a fantastic wildlife photographer and had his camera with him (as always!) so was able to quickly grab this record shot of the bird through the hide window before...
  • Blog Post: Loch of Strathbeg Recent Sightings 15/3/13

    Good afternoon, anyone got that Friday feeling? It's been all go here the past couple of week with a number of big projects underway, somewhat hampered by the snow at times. Life out on the pools proceeds as usual. Our 2 Gadwall have become a constant feature of the view from the Visitor Centre...
  • Blog Post: Finally - a happy family!

    After several unsuccesful attempts at seeing the bittern, my wife had concluded it just wasn't going to be (and I was hoping that I wouldn't see it again to try to maintain a happy home life). Today, the two of us (along with baby Grace) decided to visit the reserve on my day off to make the...
  • Media: Bittern

    Lillians Hide Leighton Moss
  • Media: Bittern

    Potteric Carr Piper's Marsh Hide
  • Media: Bittern in front of Bittern hide

    09.30 on Friday morning, start of a Great day!!!
  • Media: Bittern puffing up it's feathers

    Friday 28th Oct 2011 09.39
  • Media: Bittern @ Dungeness

    Bittern at Dungeness RSPB Reserve 31st December 2010
  • Media: Bittern

    A Bittern spotted at Fishers Green , Cheshunt from the Bittern Hide. I was sat watching a Water Rail when this little guy just popped in to say hello!
  • Media: Bittern flying off

    Bit grainy but a great shot