Page last updated at 00:30 GMT, Tuesday, 15 July 2008 01:30 UK

Breeding rate fall for rare bird

Slavonian grebe (Pic: RSPB Images)
Slavonian grebe are one of UK's most colourful birds

One of the UK's rarest birds is facing its worst breeding season on record, according to RSPB Scotland.

Slavonian grebe first nested in Scotland near Loch Ness, Inverness-shire, in 1909.

The entire UK breeding population - today numbering only 29 pairs - continues to be found within 40 miles of the area.

RSPB officer Stuart Benn said the birds were being monitored to determine what factors were affecting them.

The fears over the breeding season come in the wake of a bird ringed in Scotland being found dead in Iceland.

A fisherman found the bird drowned in his net at Myvatn - midge lake - and handed it in to the local research centre.

The centre in turn contacted RSPB staff in Inverness.

'Serious concern' over seabirds
11 Jul 08 |  North East/N Isles
Loch bottom clues to rare grebe
25 Apr 07 |  Highlands and Islands

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