Norfolk man's first class picture

MARK NICHOLLS A stunning image of a red kite captured by a Norfolk wildlife photographer is appearing on a new set of stamps from the Royal Mail.

MARK NICHOLLS

A stunning image of a red kite captured by a Norfolk wildlife photographer is appearing on a new set of stamps from the Royal Mail.

The picture, taken by Richard Brooks from Fakenham, appears in the series 'Birds', which is issued today.

It is the first of a new series of 10 first class stamps entitled 'Action for Species', which highlights how the UK's endangered species are on the road to recovery after years of serious decline.


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And Norfolk boasts nine rare species of British birds featured on the new stamps and is one of the reasons Mr Brooks settled in the area in 1978.

The Broads and other wetland areas have many breeding birds that are scarce or missing in other parts of the country such as bitterns, marsh harriers and bearded tits. They also include the avocet, which is the emblem of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and was extinct in the UK for more than a century before an avocet was lured back to breed at the RSPB reserves at Snettisham and Titchwell near Hunstanton.

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Marsh harriers, which also appear on a stamp, faced a perilous existence in 1971 when only one pair remained. Now marsh harriers can be seen at various Norfolk sites including Titchwell Marsh where its reedbeds in summer support large numbers. This year four pairs produced 10 fledglings.

All the 10 birds species featured on the stamps remain on the RSPB endangered list. Designer Kate Stephens has added two sets of population figures to each stamp to highlight how close each of the birds came to extinction.

Gwyn Williams, of the RSPB, said: “The popularity of birds has grown tremendously with series such as BBC Springwatch and every household is familiar with the species that grace their back gardens at the very least.”

The full list of birds on the stamps is: white-tailed eagle, bearded tit, red kite, cirl bunting, marsh harrier, avocet, bittern, dartford warbler, corncrake and peregrine.

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