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Rare bird spotted in Suffolk for first time in more than 30 years

By Peter Gudde

Jon Winnan captured this photo of the Little Bittern in flight
Jon Winnan captured this photo of the Little Bittern in flight

A rare little bittern bird has been spotted for the first time in Suffolk since 1979 at RSPB Lakenheath Fen

The RSPB’s David White said: “It has been heard barking regularly but is only being seen in flight occasionally. It is still favouring the area that we know as “New Fen North triangle.” This is between Mere Hide and Joist Fen viewpoint.”

He added: “The search for the little bittern was really a game of cat and dog as it was barking almost none stop between 5.30pm and 8.30pm.

“I based myself on the northern side of the triangle and the bird did sound like it was very close. It was seen on the southern edge of the triangle slightly later but all we saw of it was the reeds shaking and not the bird itself.

“We went round to the southern side of the triangle where there were more pairs of eyes. The bird was seen again by several people as it “flopped” across the channel.

“As the light faded, we eventually saw it in flight east over the triangle at around 8.35pm. Success! It was great to see this special bird which was not only a first for the reserve, but the first record of this species in Suffolk since 1979.”

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