Thursday, 3 May 2012
Great White Egret
This Great White Egret has been present for the past few days at Eldernell, part of the RSPB`s reserve on the Nene Washes. It is showing signs of being in breeding plumage, having a black bill instead of the yellow bill which it sports in the winter. The definite `kink` in the neck is an identification hint when confused with a Little Egret, although the size of the bird should negate that problem on its own. This bird is about the same size as a Grey Heron.
The Great White Egret is a bird that used to be seriously rare in Britain with less than a dozen birds reported from 1825 - 1975. This has increased somewhat with 25 birds being reported annually since 2000, although, as far as I am aware they have not bred in this country as yet, but surely colonisation is just a matter of time?
A very nice addition to my PBC year list, which is going along quite nicely with the addition of Raven, Whinchat and also Red Knot to hit the heady heights of 160.
As a postscript, I have just noticed that in the second photo there is something in the bill of the Egret, I assume a prey item of some sort, although the photo is too blurry to see what it is! If you click on the photo you can clearly see something in its` bill, although not that clearly! I really must become more observant!