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As Britain’s birdlife takes flight, skies of my youth are altering for ever

Birds that had been as soon as uncommon guests to Britain have gotten an everyday sight in England, however in Scotland, Arctic species are more likely to vanish

Despite the fact that virtually half a century has handed, I can nonetheless recall in vivid element the occasions of a sizzling, sunny afternoon in August 1970. My mom and I had been visiting Brownsea Island, off the Dorset coast. We entered a darkish conceal, opened the window and appeared out throughout the lagoon. And there – shining like a beacon – was a Persil-white apparition: my first little egret.

Again then, this ghostly member of the heron household was a really uncommon customer to Britain. These days, little egrets are so quite a few that we hardly give them a second look. On my native patch, the Avalon Marshes within the coronary heart of Somerset, I’ve seen as much as 60 in a single feeding flock. And, based on the journal British Birds, there at the moment are greater than 1,000 breeding pairs, as far north because the Scottish border.

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