Once bittern... reedbed favourites

Bittern © Philip Watson

WHERE CAN I SEE THEM AND WHEN SHOULD I GO?

To see bitterns and bearded tits in East Yorkshire you need to go to RSPB Blacktoft Sands. Bitterns can be seen all year round, but you are more likely to see them during the winter months. During spring listen out for the distinctive 'boom' of the bittern. Bearded tits can be seen all year round, but gather in roving flocks during the winter months.

The reedbeds of Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust's Far Ings National Nature Reserve, just south of the Humber Bridge, are also good for wetland favourites such as bitterns, bearded tits, reed warblers and marsh harriers.

PROBABILITY OF SIGHTINGS

There is a good probability of seeing these two iconic reedbed specialists, particularly during the winter months.

WHAT ELSE CAN I SEE AND DO WHILST I'M THERE?

RSPB Blacktoft Sands has a lot to offer aside from the chance of seeing a bittern - avocets, hen harriers and marsh harriers are all signature species for the reserve. The reserve is open daily from 9am to 9pm (or duck if earlier) and admission (prices per person) is: Free for RSPB members, £4 for adults, £1 for under 16s and £3 for concessions (65 and over / registered disabled).

WHAT CAN I DO TO MAKE A DAY OF IT?

YWT North Cave Wetlands is another fantastic wetland nature reserve and is only a half hour drive away from both RSPB Blacktoft Sands and Far Ings (the Humber Bridge is a toll bridge). YWT North Cave Wetlands offers a nice contrast to the reedbeds, with its mix of shallow pools, wet grassland and deep lakes.