As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Meet the rare bird calling the West Midlands home

14:30, 14 AUG 2016

For the very first time, little egrets, birds usually associated with Mediterranean climes, have nested in our patch.

It’s the West Midlands first that has birdwatchers in a flap.

Yes, the egret has landed. Not only that, it’s nested.

For the very first time, little egrets, birds usually associated with Mediterranean climes, have nested in our patch.

West Midlands Bird Club broke the news after being tipped-off by residents living close to the heronry at Middleton, Warwickshire.

They had seen small, snow-white birds that definitely weren’t herons. A closer inspection revealed three little egrets had hatched high in the dense cover of trees.

Bird Club leading light Ray Davies said: “No one knew about it until they could be seen standing in the nest. It really is a wonderful event.

It may be a first, but it’s not totally unexpected.

Little egrets, perhaps spurred by climate change, began to colonise the south of England 20 years ago and the small number of newcomers quickly began to grow. What’s more, the egrets’ range expanded rapidly.

When they began to nest in Conway, North Wales, birders knew it was only a matter of time before the little egret became a West Midlands breeding species.

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