What to look for, NOW!

every week we'll highlight what to look for when you're out birding.

This week it's: Bittern

Bittern is one of those brilliant birds which all birdwatchers want to see. It is not an easy bird to see well, though, as in addition to being pretty shy, Bitterns spend most of their time deep within flooded reedbeds, where they can find suitable feeding areas (to search for fish and amphibians). They are medium-sized herons, bigger than a Little Egret, smaller than a Grey Heron, and pretty chunky with it; appearing more like an owl or Buzzard at first glance when seen in flight. They are patterned and coloured like the reedbeds in which they live. Sometimes, in frozen weather, they will venture into open ground, but they are more often seen in flight, often low over a reedbed moving from feeding to roosting areas (or back again). Our very small breeding population is boosted by continental birds in the winter, and now is as good a time as any to encounter one.

Typical flight view of Bittern over a reedbed

Typical flight view of Bittern over a reedbed

Bittern in snow

Bittern in snow

Images by Alamy

message from the editor...

Welcome to Bird Watching, the UK’s best-selling bird magazine. Every issue is packed with ideas, tips, advice, news and reviews, including binoculars and scopes, for anyone with an interest in wild birds, whether they simply enjoy watching their garden birds, or prefer to travel the country and world in search of more unusual species. Our mission is to inspire you to enjoy the world of wildlife that starts right outside your back door. Find out more and sign up to our annual birding challenge #My200BirdYear here.
Matt Merritt

latest magazine ISSUE

Bird watching february 2018

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