Friday, 7 May 2010

Menorca Birds 2010 Edition 2

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!


David Barnes said...

Some nice images there ed. ooks like you're really getting to grips with digiscoping.

BTCV Ed said...

Thanks Dave. Of course, I've deleted the ones that didn't work! Birds aren't the easiest subject as you know but I'm pretty pleased with the results (wouldn't have got them without the digiscope!).