Rare Birds Breeding in Britain in 1996
Bird On! News
26th October 1996
News of 1996, as a breeding season for rare birds, is gradually being released. The first breeding of Little Egret and rearing of young Bluethroat, in Southern England and in Eastern Britain was thrilling but not too unexpected. Of much wider interest was the very good news for lovers of Red Kites. The native population in Wales is up to 152 pairs according to the Welsh Kite Trust. Of these, 127 pairs are known to have laid eggs and, despite weather problems. at least 115 young were fledged from 85 nests. The total population broke the 500 barrier.
Elsewhere, the English introduced birds produced 80 young from 33 pairs and a pair, possibly from the Continent, bred in East Anglia. In Scotland there were 15 successful nests and 38 young were reared. Two pairs fledged four chicks - pretty good when you realise that two chicks was unusual for native birds 30 or 40 years ago. The news from the North of the Corncrakes is also encouraging.
The main areas on the Inner and Outer Hebrides and in Orkney have increased by nine per cent (16% between 1994 and 1995 and four the previous year). This population now has 584 singing males and is crucially helped by friendly farming practice partly paid for by the European Union through the RSPB.