I'm new to the forum, so hello to everyone. I wonder if anyone could provide some feedback on the following?
I thought I saw a Little Egret on Exe Estuary, Devon yesterday. I had a look on BTO as I appreciate the similarity with a Great White Egret and wanted to be sure. Apparently there have only been winter sightings up until now.
Can anyone shed any light on this?
Welcome to the forum, I would be surprised if you hadn't seen Little Egret. They are certainly at most sites on the south coast and also breeding in a good many numbers of sites. I suspect the Exe estuary is a very good breeding and feeding area for them.
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Thanks very much Bob. That is a very thoughtful way of saying I didn't see something rare! Much appreciated. I'm fairly new to all this and was also pleased to see an Oyster Catcher, large numbers of Shellduck and a Cormorant. Still find it very difficult to distinguish them from Shags though.
As Bob has said, Little Egrets are very widespread these days. I don't know the area personally but I would have thought the Exe estuary was perfect habitat for them. I see them (mostly in winter) in the middle of Berkshire. Great White Egrets on the other hand are still fairly scarce but are seen in the west country and some other places occasionally.
Here's a couple of photos to help you with the ID.
Little Egret - Note the black bill and yellow feet if you get to see them.
Great White Egret
They are much bigger - more or less Grey Heron size - and mostly have yellow bills. I've only seen them once in the UK and this photo shows it on a cold January day in 2011 together with Little Egrets. Shows the size difference nicely.
Hope this helps.
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That is a great help teejay. Yep, it was a solitary Little Egret wading about in quite an explosive fashion actually. That comparative photo really does emphasize the difference. I also saw a Grey Heron on the Marshes having just caught an eel.
Man on a bikeYep, it was a solitary Little Egret wading about in quite an explosive fashion actually.
You may have seen it trying to stir up it's prey. I filmed this one doing a sort of soft shoe shuffle. Quite fascinating to watch.
I forgot to say, welcome to the forum, by the way.
Welcome to the forum Man on a Bike.
Great footage TJ
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And a welcome from me too
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Welcome, Man on a Bike.
I used to live in the South-West and several times did the Exe estuary bird cruise. We definitely saw Little Egrets and many, many other waders and wildfowl. It's a great place!
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Thanks for all of the welcoming messages! Really good vid teejay. Interesting contrast to the behaviour of the one I saw. It was adopting bigger movements nearly jumping between standing positions. I'll try and get some pics next time. I need a zoom lens!