Glossy ibis in nest attempt at Frampton Marshes
Two rare birds usually found in the Mediterranean region have been spotted building a nest in Lincolnshire.
The pair of glossy ibis did not raise young at the RSPB site in Frampton Marsh, near Boston, but it is believed to be the first attempt by the species in the UK.
Site manager John Badley said it could mean the beginning of a colonisation of the birds usually found in Spain.
It is thought drier conditions are pushing the birds further north.
RSPB manager John Badley, said: "The birds built up a nest platform out of the water in just a few days, but despite being seen courting and displaying, they didn't lay any eggs.
"This could be the behaviour of immature birds practising before they are mature enough to breed.
"We will have to wait and see if the birds come back next spring to know if this could be the beginning of a colonisation of the UK, as has been predicted, or just a one-off."
Glossy ibis, a heron-like bird, usually nest in the south of France, southern Spain and in south-east Europe.
However, it is believed that drier conditions in southern Spain have pushed some birds further north in the search for favourable nesting sites.
The glossy ibis
- The glossy ibis gets its name from the iridescent sheen on its wings
- These wading birds have long bills and like to feed on small invertebrates in muddy pools
- Six glossy ibis were seen on the island of Eigg, one of the small islands south of Skye, in 2012
- Some of the birds were also seen at the RSPB Scotland site in Mersehead near Dalbeattie in October 2010