Tuesday, 14 February 2006

Species increasing

Not all species are declining. A classic example is the Little Egret, which over the past couple of decades has greatly expanded its range in Europe. It has colonised Britain, and is now breeding in many parts of southern England. Last year driving back and forth between my home office and the World Land Trust office, I saw several prospecting trees along the river bank.

And then last weekend I saw one in our own garden. We have a small copse, which has a rookery with about a dozen nests in it, close to a stream and a pond -- an ideal site for a small heronry -- so parhaps we will have little egrets nesting in our backyard within a year or two. I certainly hope so. It would justify all the effort we have been putting into habitat restoration. Next to our copse is a field of about two acres, which we have been mowing to eliminate the nettles and thistles (over a metre high when we moved in), and are now grazing the field with llamas and sheep. The open, unsprayed meadow should be ideal for egrets, as they also often like to asociate with grazing animals.
Fingers crossed, watch this space.

1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately, it is all too true that variousunwanted mammals are increasing. However, I doubt that rat numbers are anything like the levels they have been in the past. Does anyone out there know when the last vole'plagues' occurred in Britain? I remember seeing them south of London in the 1950s. Do they still occur?