NICK BRAMHILL writing in the Irish Times

A SECRETIVE bird believed to have become extinct in Ireland more than 150 years ago has returned to our shores and could start breeding here once again.

The bittern, a rare member of the heron family which is famous for its booming call, is believed to have sought refuge here from the bitter cold snap in continental Europe.

The brown-coloured bird, also known as the great bittern, died out in Ireland in the mid-19th century. But over the past week at least three of the well-camouflaged birds have been spotted at Lake Tacumshane in south Co Wexford, suggesting many more could have arrived here undetected because they are notoriously hard to tra

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