This is very exciting news...
For the first time, bitterns bred at Langford Lowfields this year! This is a historic moment in the story of the site and is an excellent seal of approval, that all the work we're doing to help this rare reedbed-loving species is working. Three male bitterns could be heard loudly booming this year, with the sound carrying as far as the public car park, almost 1km away. One of these 'boomers' was clearly impressive enough to lure in a female, who nested on site and was then seen regularly carrying out feeding flights to gather up tasty frogs and fish for her hungry chicks. Unfortunately the youngsters were never seen, but there is a lot of reed to hide in and the length of time the feeding flights carried on for indicates that they may well have fledged and as is often the case, left the site without being spotted.
Following their successful breeding at Attenborough in 2015, bittern nesting at Langford marks only the second time that they have ever been recorded as breeding in Nottinghamshire.
The continued expansion of existing reed, the on-going planting of new reed and the increase in fish numbers on site no doubt ensured this milestone has been reached. Bittern need a lot of fish and the installation of the large outfall sluice linking us the Trent, combined with on-going development of good fish habitat and the introduction of 600 roach back in March, all means that our fish stocks continue to increase. Important young eels (elvers), which are critically endangered and loved by bitterns, have been seen on site for the first time this year.
All 3 of our priority reedbed species have now bred at Langford; marsh harriers, bearded tits and bitterns... Maybe next year will be the year when they all breed at the same time!?
Photos below all ©Stuart Carlton Twitter @StuartCarlton48 ... Female bittern carrying out feeding flights and bittern nest hidden in the reeds
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