Ten spoonbill chicks fledge from Holkham National Nature Reserve



Exclusive footage of a young Spoonbill at the Holkham Colony ( Natural England)


We announced the rare breeding success when six chicks had left the nests on 3 August, and a final four now bring the total up to ten this year. Family parties have been spotted further along the Norfolk and Lincolnshire coast feeding, with young begging for food.

This is a significant breakthrough for one of the UKs rarest breeding birds. Spoonbills have only bred four times in Britain in the last three hundred years and the number of successful nests in one place gives Natural England staff at Holkham hope that a new colony may establish on the well managed site.

Senior reserve manager Michael Rooney said: The birds have benefited from nesting in dense trees surrounded by water, remote from human disturbance. Wed like to thank the bird watchers for leaving the nesting birds alone during those vital early weeks when adults are feeding their young. Six successful nests could be a sign of things to come here at Holkham, but only if the adults return knowing they can rear their young undisturbed.

Spoonbills are named after their rather comical broad bills which they elegantly sweep through water to feed. Sightings of one or two spring passage birds are typical for North Norfolk, but attention was aroused when a total of 9 spoonbills - mostly adults in full breeding plumage - arrived in the area. The spoonbills set up home in the mixed breeding colony of cormorants, grey herons and little egrets already on the site.


Spoonbills have only bred in Britain four times in the last three centuries! ( Andrew Bloomfield)


Natural England
6th Sep 2010