We went to our friends' house yesterday evening who live right next to Berwick Ponds, and have seen Bittern from their kitchen window many times. Although a non birder, my mate Phil, shows quite a bit interest and therefore joined me for an hour searching the ponds for Bittern.
The ponds are defrosting but are still mostly frozen. When we arrived some fishermen checking out the lake told us a Bittern had been walking on the ice (in front of the fisher men's car park) 5 minutes earlier, and had walked out of view into the reeds. We walked to the far end, to where I had had one at close proximity that week, but no sign this time. We headed back to the car park area as dusk drew in to see if, as they had done last week, any Bittern would fly to roost in the same spot about 50 yards to the left of the car park. 20 mins, 1 Sparrowhawk and several calling Water Rail later, a single Bittern took off from the reeds in front of us, where the fisher men had said they had seen one earlier and landed in the same roosting spot as last week. Great stuff. We headed back to Phil's for a well deserved beer or six!