Rare breed of bird spotted at Norfolk nature reserve
- Credit: John Savory
An endangered species of bird has been spotted at a natural beauty spot for the first time in its history.
Up to eight Cattle Egrets have been seen standing on the backs of Pensthorpe Natural Park’s resident Longhorn cattle and a herd of Aberdeen Angus.
The park’s undisturbed areas of woodland near to its lakes and the River Wensum has made the ideal place for egrets to roost.
The birds - which are included on the amber list of conservation concern - began to colonise the UK in the mid to late 2000s but they remain a rare breeding species.
Bill Jordan, owner of Pensthorpe Natural Park, said: “We believe that our approach to low intensive grazing is a huge factor in the arrival of the Cattle Egrets and it’s been a joy to watch them making friends with the cattle.
“Our meadows are rich in a diverse range of flowers and grasses. This leads to an increase in invertebrates in the vegetation, making our grounds a suitable feeding habitat for the egrets.
“We’re hoping that 2022 will be the year that the birds also decide to breed.”