The ibis has landed – almost…

Photo: @_Pallikkaranai via wikimedia commons
Photo: @_Pallikkaranai via wikimedia commons

This summer, a pair of Glossy Ibises built a nest at the RSPB nature reserve at Frampton Marsh – the first recorded nesting attempt by this species in the UK.

The pair did not go on to raise young but this is a sign of things to come.

RSPB Senior Sites Manager John Badley said: “We’ve done a lot of work at Frampton Marsh to bring the wildlife of the Wash closer for people to see and enjoy by creating lots of new wetland habitats. We’ve been pretty successful, but this wasn’t on our radar at all!

“The birds built up a nest platform out of the water in just a few days, but despite being seen courting and displaying they didn’t lay any eggs. This could be the behavior of immature birds practicing before they are mature enough to breed.”

The closest glossy ibis nesting site to the UK is in the south of France, with more in southern Spain and in south-east Europe. It’s believed that drier conditions in southern Spain may have pushed some birds further north this summer in the search for favourable nesting sites. Since 1997 several southern European heron species have nested in Britain for the first time, including the now firmly-established little egret, and the colonising great white egret.

Well done! to the RSPB and best wishes to John Badley.  Frampton is a really great nature reserve and this event (or, almost event) shows that nature reserves are going to be important in helping nature respond to climate change.


3 Replies to “The ibis has landed – almost…”

  1. Interesting that the apparent colonisers arriving ostensibly as a result of climate change are largely wetland birds. Are other factors such as long term recovery from historic persecution (millinery etc.,) and the investment of TWT, RSPB etc in quality wetland reserves also a factor attracting them?

    1. John – the quality wetland reserves were partly put there so that wetland species moving north would find somewhere to settle.

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