This was a common breeder in the 18th century in eastern marshlands but declined quickly so that by 1850 it was only sporadic. A small colony alleged to have nested at Pett (Sussex) in 1941 and 1942 is now discounted. Recorded breeding attempts since then are: Ouse Washes (several in 1966 and 1969 & 1975), Lough Erne, Fermanagh (1967 & 1975), Tayside (taking food to young in 1970) and Nottinghamshire (1975). There has been a long-term decline in adjacent countries in Europe. Should we give up hope?
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From The State of the Nations Birds
Copyright © 2000 by Chris Mead