Rare bird breeds in Norfolk for first time
- Credit: Archant
They share a name. But when these two came face-to-face, it was clear that they were no more than very distant relatives.
Cattle at the Holkham Estate have been acquainting themselves with new arrivals, after western cattle egret were successfully bred there for the first time.
The species of heron is normally found in the tropics, but four pairs have been bred in Norfolk this summer, and one has successfully fledged young.
It is part of the breed’s continued expansion across England, and it is hoped that visitors will be able to see the family roaming the coastal grazing marshes.
This summer’s continued expansion follows a successful 2019, in which the species nested in three new counties.
You may also want to watch:
Holkham is a well-established hot-spot for scarce breeding waterbirds, being the focal point of Britain’s embryonic Eurasian spoonbill population.
Andy Bloomfield, warden on the Holkham National Nature Reserve, said: “Holkham offers a safe, undisturbed woodland area where the four breeding pairs were discovered in the middle of fresh water grazing marshes where cattle graze and water levels are maintained to create a mixture of flooded fields and drier areas - ideal habitats for all the prey species that these colonists need to survive.
- 1 Missing man found by off-duty police officer
- 2 £5m roadworks on A47 cause delays - and months more to come
- 3 Man jailed for 24 years for raping and sexually assaulting two girls
- 4 Three Norfolk hotels named among the best for romance in the UK
- 5 Village rounds on council over 'disgraceful' road resurfacing that covered cycle lanes and blocked drains
- 6 Man charged after cannabis factory and 300 plants found above pizza takeaway
- 7 Norfolk campsite voted third best in UK
- 8 Road cleared after three-vehicle collision on A47
- 9 Early hours arrests as part of 'ongoing police investigation'
- 10 Pub boss struggling to recruit ahead of lockdown lifting
“In African countries cattle egrets are commonly seen feeding on the backs, or around the feet, of elephants and hippos. Sadly, there are none of these at Holkham, so they will have to make do with Holkham’s herds of Devonshire crosses and Belted Galloways.”
Find out more at www.holkham.co.uk/nature-reserve-beach/nature-reserve