First black-winged stilt chicks to hatch in Britain for 27 years are taken by predator at Welney Wetland Centre

Black winged stilt at Welney PHOTO: Bob Ellis

Black winged stilt at Welney PHOTO: Bob Ellis - Credit: Archant

The first pair of black-winged stilt chicks hatched in Britain for 27 years have been taken by a predator at Welney Wetland Centre, the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) has confirmed.

Two chicks hatched this week after the centre brought in minders to keep a round-the-clock check of a pair of the birds that chose to breed there.

But Mark Simpson, from the WWT’s Slimbridge headquarters in Gloucestershire, today told the BBC: “It appears the chicks are no more.

“We understand two chicks hatched at the Fenland centre, but earlier this week the parents were spotted flying away to the other side of the reserve, alerting to the fact something was wrong.

“There are predator-proof fences which would protect the ground-nesting wader birds from attack, but a bird predator or stoat could have possibly been responsible.

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“It’s very sad but we’re hopeful the adults will come back next year again.”

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