A ‘bittern’ good news for Old Moor

A Bittern at Old Moor RSPB Reserve, Wombwell.
A Bittern at Old Moor RSPB Reserve, Wombwell.

A WOMBWELL nature reserve’s rare bird has finally found his hen.

The booming bittern who bellowed his need for a mate from the reed beds at RSPB Old Moor, is now to become a dad!

Tiny bittern feet are splashing among the reed beds - after the first nesting of the bird in South Yorkshire for over 100 years.

Bitterns – a relative of the grey heron – were classed as extinct in the UK in the late 19th century. Many were hunted for the dinner table or lost their habitat through the draining of their homes for farmland.

As recently as the 1990s, there were thought to be only 11 males left, none of which were in South Yorkshire.

Site manager Matthew Capper said: “This is an amazing moment for the site. We have been working hard to create exactly the right habitat for bitterns to breed and this is a brilliant result, not just for Old Moor, but for South Yorkshire.”

Just like any new parents, the birds have a strict feeding routine for their young and staff at the reserve are asking visitors to be respectful of the new family and only watch them from the marked areas on site.