Distribution Britain 0 Ireland 0
Numbers breeding: Britain 6 Ireland 12
European status: 28,000 (0% in Britain and Ireland)
British population trend: new colonist outlook excellent
How likely are you to record it? 3 squares (0.1%) Ranked 171=
This elegant, small white heron has colonised Britain and Ireland from the south over the last few years. From 1989 the number of birds recorded in southern England increased apace and some played at breeding in existing Grey heron colonies from 1993. In 1996 breeding was recorded in Dorset (one pair) and there were 5 pairs there in 1997 with breeding (one or two pairs) in Hampshire. In southern Ireland no fewer than 12 pairs bred in a tree nesting Grey Heron colony. These birds seem only to be at risk if there is severe winter weather. Hundreds in dozens of colonies by 2010!
Lock, L. & Cook, K. 1998 British Birds: 91, 271-272.
Smiddy, P. & O'Sullivan, O. 1998 Irish Birds: 6, 201-206.
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From The State of the Nations Birds
Copyright © 2000 by Chris Mead