Category
A
Status
Rare
Breeding status
First Record
Last Recorded
2004

Bittern Botaurus stellaris


Bittern photographed at Grands Marais/Pre [PRE] on 28/12/2010. Photo: © Mark Guppy
  Bittern photographed at Grands Marais/Pre [PRE] on 28/12/2010 Photo: © Mark Guppy (visit site)

In 1878 Smith noted that 'Bitterns were probably at one time more common in Guernsey than they are at present, drainage and better cultivation having contributed to thin their numbers as it has done in England'. These prescient comments remain as true today as when they were first written. The areas of suitable habitat left today compared to Smith's time will be a mere fraction. The loss of La Grande Mare and the Track Marais has deprived the species of large areas of Phragmites. Fragments of this habitat are being retained in a series of nature reserves but they seem unable to sustain a wintering population.

Occurrences in the island are linked to the severity of weather on the continent. There were only four records in the period 1990-1999. It seems probable that the source of birds reported is from north-west Europe. Ringing recoveries in the UK have included birds from Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands. Breeding in Normandy is confined to the area around Le Havre.

Nearly all recent records are of single birds in the period from late November to April. Favoured sites include the Vale Pond, Grand Pre and Marais Nord. A unusual late summer record was of a bird at La Claire Mare on the 28th August 1999. Another sighting on the same day at La Grande Mare undoubtably refers to the same bird.



View all photos (13)
Bittern photographed at Grands Marais/Pre [PRE] on 28/12/2010. Photo: © Mark Guppy
Bittern photographed at Grands Marais/Pre [PRE] on 28/12/2010. Photo: © Mark Guppy (visit site)

Bittern photographed at Grands Marais/Pre [PRE] on 29/12/2010. Photo: © Chris Bale
Bittern photographed at Grands Marais/Pre [PRE] on 29/12/2010. Photo: © Chris Bale (visit site)

Bittern photographed at Claire Mare [CLA] on 17/1/2010. Photo: © Paul Hillion
Bittern photographed at Claire Mare [CLA] on 17/1/2010. Photo: © Paul Hillion (visit site)

Bittern photographed at Grand Pré on 24/1/2009. Photo: © Paul Hillion
Bittern photographed at Grand Pré on 24/1/2009. Photo: © Paul Hillion (visit site)

Bittern photographed at Claire Mare [CLA] on 7/12/2008. Photo: © Chris Bale
Bittern photographed at Claire Mare [CLA] on 7/12/2008. Photo: © Chris Bale (visit site)

Bittern photographed at Grands Marais/Pre [PRE] on 28/12/2010. Photo: © Dave Andrews
Bittern photographed at Grands Marais/Pre [PRE] on 28/12/2010. Photo: © Dave Andrews (visit site)

Bittern photographed at Claire Mare [CLA] on 8/2/2012. Photo: © Adrian Gidney
Bittern photographed at Claire Mare [CLA] on 8/2/2012. Photo: © Adrian Gidney (visit site)

Bittern photographed at Grands Marais/Pr� [PRE] on 24/1/2010. Photo: © Mark Guppy
Bittern photographed at Grands Marais/Pr� [PRE] on 24/1/2010. Photo: © Mark Guppy (visit site)

Bittern photographed at Les Padins, SSV on 19/1/2010. Photo: © Fe Robin (via Jamie Hooper)
Bittern photographed at Les Padins, SSV on 19/1/2010. Photo: © Fe Robin (via Jamie Hooper) (visit site)

Bittern photographed at Grand Pre on 28/12/2010. Photo: © Mark Lawlor
Bittern photographed at Grand Pre on 28/12/2010. Photo: © Mark Lawlor (visit site)

Bittern photographed at Claire Mare [CLA] on 17/1/2010. Photo: © Barry Wells
Bittern photographed at Claire Mare [CLA] on 17/1/2010. Photo: © Barry Wells (visit site)

Bittern photographed at Vale Pond [VAL] on 11/12/2010. Photo: © Rod Ferbrache
Bittern photographed at Vale Pond [VAL] on 11/12/2010. Photo: © Rod Ferbrache (visit site)

Bittern photographed at Claire Mare [CLA] on 15/1/2010. Photo: © Bob Murphy
Bittern photographed at Claire Mare [CLA] on 15/1/2010. Photo: © Bob Murphy (visit site)



View database records (47)
Bittern Vale Pond 26/3/1993 1
Bittern Marais Nord/Vale Marais 28/3/1993 1
Bittern Grands Marais/Pré 2/4/1993 8/4/1993 1
Bittern Marais Nord/Vale Marais 28/11/1993 1
Bittern Vale Pond 3/1/1997 13/1/1997 1
Bittern Fauxquets Valley 18/1/1997 26/1/1996 1
Bittern Vale Pond 5/3/1997 1
Bittern Grande Mare 28/8/1999 1
Bittern Claire Mare 28/8/1999 1
Bittern Rue de Bergers N.R. 3/1/2002 1
Bittern Grands Marais/Pré 22/1/2003 1
Bittern Rue de Bergers N.R. 23/1/2003 1
Bittern Rue Charruee 31/1/2003 1
Bittern Reservoir 8/2/2003 1
Bittern Reservoir 9/2/2003 1
Bittern Reservoir 9/2/2003 1
Bittern Reservoir 9/2/2003 1
Bittern Reservoir 9/2/2003 1
Bittern Reservoir 17/2/2003 1
Bittern Rue de Bergers N.R. 18/2/2003 1
Bittern Rue de Bergers N.R. 27/10/2003 1
Bittern Grande Mare [GMA] 9/1/2010 1
Bittern Reservoir [RES] 12/1/2010 1
Bittern Les Sages, TOR 14/1/2010 1
Bittern Les Rouvets [ROV] 14/1/2010 1
Bittern Claire Mare [CLA] 15/1/2010 1
Bittern Grands Marais/Pre [PRE] 15/1/2010 1
Bittern Reservoir [RES] 19/1/2010 1
Bittern Coutanchez [COU] 25/1/2010 1
Bittern Claire Mare [CLA] 6/12/2010 1
Bittern Claire Mare [CLA] 8/12/2010 1
Bittern Vale Pond [VAL] 11/12/2010 1
Bittern Grands Marais/Pre [PRE] 28/12/2010 1
Bittern Grands Marais/Pre [PRE] 28/12/2010 1
Bittern Grands Marais/Pre [PRE] 29/12/2010 1
Bittern Grands Marais/Pre [PRE] 30/12/2010 1
Bittern Grands Marais/Pre [PRE] 30/12/2010 1
Bittern Claire Mare [CLA] 4/2/2012 1
Bittern Claire Mare [CLA] 8/2/2012 1
Bittern Claire Mare [CLA] 8/2/2012 1
Bittern Marais Nord/Vale Marais [NOR] 11/2/2012 1
Bittern Grande Mare [GMA] 9/4/2012 1
Bittern Grande Mare [GMA] 22/12/2012 1
Bittern Claire Mare [CLA] 1/12/2016 1
Bittern Grands Marais/Pre [PRE] 30/4/2017 1
Bittern Grands Marais/Pre [PRE] 30/4/2017 1
Bittern Grands Marais/Pre [PRE] 30/4/2017 1