The hugely exciting news from our Lodmoor nature reserve is that we have a booming bittern. The crazy deep sound like someone blowing over the top of a bottle has been heard for over a week, coming from the reeds. Bitterns are shy herons and males ‘boom’ like this to attract females. We have had bitterns booming in the past but never for this length of time so we are hoping that they will breed.
We have worked hard to get the reed bed into a healthy state at both Radipole Lake and Lodmoor including creating more ditches and open water and at Lodmoor installing an eel pass to allow eels into the waterways which happen to be to bitterns what chocolate is to humans.
Bitterns are beautifully marked with brown and black streaky feathers, making them blend into the reeds superbly. Photo credit: RSPB
Bitterns were nearing extinction in Britain 20 years ago, when only 11 pairs were recorded by the RSPB in England. Since then, thanks to conservation projects in areas like the Avalon Marshes, the bittern has made a remarkable come-back and it would be wonderful if Lodmoor and Radipole Lake could play a part in the recovery success story of the bittern.
Lodmoor has also been on the flight path of our migrating birds with swallow, osprey and wheatear passing through this week. Might be a good time to get down to Lodmoor!
At Radipole Lake its all about the Marsh with Marsh harriers showing well in the skies and Marsh marigolds also known as Kingcup like yellow gold out in flower on the path up to the north hide amongst the reeds. They cheer up the dullest day.
Marsh marigold in flower. Photo credit: Naomi Bailey
Sun 30 March Mother’s day special offer
A half price cream tea for all Mother’s today.
Come and relax in the Discovery Centre, or take a walk around the nature reserve. Today only we will be giving all Mums a half price cream tea!