News has just been released by the Wildlife Trusts today that a pair of Black-crowned Night Herons has successfully bred in Britain for the first time ever on one of its reserves.
Two adults and two recently fledged juveniles are now roosting at Somerset Wildlife Trust’s Westhay Moor NNR on the Somerset Levels, having either bred there or nearby on the Avalon Marshes site. The birds were captured on camera and made their debut on Flickr.
Black-crowned Night Heron is a scarce visitor to Britain, with around 10 or so records each year on average (accounting for occasional fluctuations); only a dozen or so have been reported in Somerset since 1800. With Somerset's recent history of breeding Cattle and Great Egrets and Little Bitterns, this is perhaps a long-overdue event and reaffirms the Avalon Marshes and Somerset Levels' significance as one of the country's most important breeding areas for the heron family and other larger marshland birds.