Purple herons are sporadic visitors to the UK, but they’ve gone one step further this year. Exciting news from the RSPB reserve in Dungeness, Kent, is that a pair have built a nest and are apparently sitting on eggs. A 24-hour guard has been established to promote chances of a successful breeding, which would be a historic first for Britain. This southern European heron is expanding its range northward, probably due to climate change, and is expected to become a regular breeder in Britain in the near future, following in the footsteps of its relative, the Little egret.
Hopefully, the presence of this spectacular bird will help the RSPB fight against plans to build an international airport at nearby Lydd.