LondonNet News Headlines
03/01/02
Birds Choose London Over Europe
- Milder weather and air quality could be keys to return of the bittern

NEW evidence of the improvements in air quality in London over recent years has come in the odd shape of the bittern, a rare heron-type bird last seen in central London 100 years ago.

London's air quality has improved as tighter environmental laws plus the decline of much of the capital's industry have combined to make smog and pea-soupers things of the distant past.

That, and the milder than average winter, are thought to have encouraged a number of bitterns - staff at the London Wetlands Centre have counted three so far this year - to favour London over colder climes on mainland Europe.

Characterised by a low booming call, the bittern is one of Britain's rarest birds. Estimates suggest only 20 males exist in the whole of the UK





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