Sunday, 16 July 2017

Cattle Egrets breeding on two RSPB reserves this year

Remember those Cattle Egrets that were discovered near Caulcott during the BOS short day count back in January?  They were part of a significant influx that culminated in the second and third records of successful breeding in England.  The first to be "made public", back in May, were a pair at RSPB Burton Mere Wetland.  
Two of the Banburyshire Cattle Egrets, January 2017

Now, it has also been reported that five pairs have also bred at Ham Wall RSPB reserve in Somerset, raising at least nine young.  With a small colony rapidly established - at a site with several other heron species - maybe they can become a more permanent fixture as a UK breeding bird.  If they do, it may be just a matter of time before they spread northwards and start breeding somewhere in our area.

Cattle Egrets have a very wide distribution around the world and can provide a great spectacle, for example when they gather in large flocks before roosting in a favoured clump of trees:
Cattle Egrets  - Daintree River, Queensland, August 2016

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