Good English bird news

This video from England is called Shapwick National Nature Reserve at dawn, March 2011. Somerset, UK.

From Wildlife Extra:

Record breaking summer for Somerset’s wetland birds

Bumper crop of rare birds on Somerset’s Avalon Marshes

September 2013. Conservationists in Somerset are celebrating the news that the Avalon Marshes has had its best year ever for breeding birds. The Avalon Marshes is a huge wetland recreation site to the west of Glastonbury managed by Natural England (NE), Somerset Wildlife Trust (SWT), Hawk and Owl Trust and RSPB.

Great white egrets

Following the first UK nesting great white egrets last year in the marshes, this summer has seen two pairs nest; one again at Natural England’s Shapwick National Nature Reserve (producing two youngsters) and a new pair within the boundary of the RSPB’s Ham Wall nature reserve (producing three young).

Little bitterns

The RSPB reserve at Ham Wall has also been host to a nesting pair of little bitterns. This is the only known UK breeding location for these remarkably shy and diminutive members of the heron family and this year two young birds successfully fledged.

Great bitterns

And, to add to the totals, great bitterns have had yet another amazing year across the Avalon Marshes. On RSPB, NE and SWT land, as many as 33 “booming” males have been heard across the wetlands. This makes the area now one of the UK’s hotspots for this rare and remarkable bird.

Marsh harriers

Alongside the nesting bitterns and egrets, the wetlands have also provided a home for marsh harriers, with four nests producing thirteen young.

Ray Summers, RSPB warden for Ham Wall said; “We are all absolutely delighted. Since we took on the land at Ham Wall back in the mid 1990s we’ve been working hard to recreate a pristine wetland. To have all these nesting egrets, bitterns and harriers is a fantastic seal of approval for the work we’ve done, it really demonstrates the quality of the site for wildlife”

Simon Clarke, Natural England’s Senior Reserve Manager for Shapwick Heath and the Somerset NNRs, said: “This year’s breeding success at Avalon Marshes is a great example of how strong partnership working can genuinely benefit threatened and vulnerable wildlife species. The partner organisations have all worked closely together to develop this habitat on a landscape scale. And the result is a safe, abundant and well-managed environment that is providing feeding and nesting opportunities for a startling range of wildlife – especially those we’ve seen at Shapwick.”

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