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Chris Merkord

Egrets? We have quite a few...as species expands dramatically in UK - Express.co.uk

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The egret is now a recognisable bird in coastal parts of the UK (GETTY)
THIS little egret from the Mediterranean has emerged a big winner in its adopted UK home.


Despite only breeding here for the first time in 1996, its numbers have since expanded by an amazing 16,350 per cent to become a familiar sight on our wetlands. Its rise is charted in the British Trust for Ornithology’s Bird Atlas 2007-11, based on the observations of 40,000 birders nationwide.


It is one of the world's biggest ever citizen science projects with more than 40,000 birdwatchers scouring the countryside for birds.


Other successful breeders to arrive from abroad include Egyptian Geese and ring-necked parakeets which are spreading widely. Nuthatches are relentlessly moving northward while great spotted woodpeckers are conquering Scotland and have moved into Ireland for the first time.


However Britain's losers include tree sparrows which have been vanishing for years and yellowhammers which used to be a familiar sight and sound in rural hedgerows. The most alarming declines have been suffered by two summer visitors. The numbers of turtle doves - a key element in The Twelve Days Of Christmas carol - and spotted flycatchers have shrunk dramatically since the Seventies.


Read more: http://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/444194/Egrets-We-have-quite-a-few-as-species-expands-dramatically-in-UK

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