THE rare black-winged stilt family which made Northwich famous in the bird world have left.
Over the last few weeks thousands of visitors to Neumann’s Flash have watched the black-winged stilt adults and their chick at an RSPB Aren’t birds brilliant (Abb!) public viewing scheme.
Matthew Capper, RSPB Northern England said: It’s a great shame that the stilts have disappeared. Without any witnesses, it’s hard to know exactly what happened but we suspect that the chick has been predated and as a result the adults have moved on.”
The stilts nest commonly on mainland Europe but are rare visitors to Britain and have only bred successfully on four occasions. As ground nesting birds, they are particularly vulnerable to natural predators.
Matthew added: “We were all hoping for a much happier ending and it’s particularly disappointing for all the people who have worked hard to help protect the nest and show visitors the birds.
“The support of Cheshire County Council has been superb and I know the rangers are particularly sad to hear the news.”
Countryside ranger Stephanie Hefferan said: “It’s a great shame because the chick was near to leaving the nest. Let’s hope that there’s more success if the birds return next year.”