Archive for October 27, 2014

Great White Egret

Posted: October 27, 2014 in Birds, Natural History
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The Great White Egret is an annual but scarce visitor to the UK averaging around 30 reports every year. It is a large white heron which can be told from other native species by colour and by size. In breeding plumage it can be confused with Little Egret but a good view of the bird shows it to be about twice as tall when the neck is extended.

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Its core population breeds in central and eastern Europe although in recent years it has spread west and small populations now breed in Spain, France and the Netherlands. The first pair bred in the UK in 2012 in Somerset.

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A visit today to Bough Beech reservoir near Sevenoaks in Kent. On arriving and scanning the reservoir the first bird seen was a Great White Egret. This is a rare visitor from central Europe, although more frequent each year as it seems to be expanding Westward.

Great White Egret

Great White Egret

Great White Egret

Great White Egret

This is a UK first sighting for me, having previously only seen it in Austria and Hungary. It was with a Grey Heron and Little Egret which was a good chance to compare the species.

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The Little Egret, also once a rarity in UK, is now a regular breeding bird and there were 5 present at Bough Beech today

Little Egret

Little Egret

Little Egret

Little Egret

Good number of Wigeon and Great Crested Grebe also present. Was fortunate to see a Kingfisher fishing in river. Unfortunately it was through trees and impossible to get any photos.

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Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Eurasian Great Egret (Ardea alba alba)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Stock Dove [sp] (Columba oenas)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)