Bittern migration

At this time of year a wonderful phenomenon occurs around sunset, when conditions are good, whereby Bittern will depart from the reed beds they've been hiding in and circle around the site uttering their gentle bark-like call before departing in a generally NE direction. Optimum conditions are clear evenings with a light south-westerly wind so Tuesday currently looks ideal whilst Wednesday could be OK too.

Some of these will be birds which have spent the winter here but some birds are probably using these sites as staging posts before migrating towards their breeding grounds.

This is where we need your help please. Any reed bed, regardless of size, could potentially hold a Bittern or two. Are you able to get to a local reed bed in Dorset this evening (28th) or tomorrow evening to see/hear if any birds depart?

Generally speaking birds will rise from the reed beds half an hour either side of sunset with stragglers occasionally leaving an hour after dusk. The optimum time for birds leaving will be around 8pm.

If you could let me know via or by replying on Twitter if you are able to cover a site then I can coordinate to ensure that best coverage is achieved.

Good luck!