This edition features Cattle Egret. I've never seen one in Britain (they're just starting to colonise Britain - perhaps in the same way Little Egrets have - but are rare at the moment). Last year I saw one group of 4 and a group of 7 but only briefly. This year I saw many more!
Above: A cheeky shot of a Cattle Egret I just had to include!
I was driving along a road I saw a group of 13 Cattle Egret flying away. 2 hours later I was driving the opposite way when I saw a number of Cattle Egret in a small grove of pine trees. It turns out I found a nesting site! Would this be an Egretry?
Stopping, I got my scope and camera out to get some superb photographs!
Above: A Cattle Egret preening at a nest site.
Whilst preening, birds are perched in the same place. I found it quite a challenge to get the timing right to get a good photo inbetween or whilst preening! This must happen regularly with digiscoping going on my experiences. I also found that when the birds aren't preening, they're usually moving making photographs hard.
Above: These were the only two Cattle Egret I could photograph 'on the nest'. Views were restricted from the road (the Egrets were on private land) where I was forced to stand.
Above: Another cheeky shot! Some of these birds were seen carrying twigs = nesting.
Above: One or two came down to the ground (presumably for nesting materials) and this was the only photograph I managed whilst it was sneeking away from me.
Above: At another site completely, I discovered 7 Cattle Egret in their natural feeding environment! Alas, before I could get a classic photo of one standing atop of a cow, it flew off not to return.
Above: One early morning I got a digiscoped image of these egrets - a mixture of Cattle and Little Egrets. There were 31 birds in total at roughly a 50/50 split (an accurate split was impossible to to the distance involved).
The total holiday count for this species was well over 30 birds!