There have been a couple of Cattle Egrets around in recent weeks in the North West. One has been present up at Marshside RSPB reserve in Southport and the other has been at Burton Mere RSPB reserve on the Wirral. I've only ever seen one before, a couple of years ago, and also at Burton Mere.
When I arrived it was hiding behind a bush on an island in front of the main reception. So I made my way out towards a viewing screen a couple of hundred yards away, in the hope that I'd get a better view. Although I was further away, I could actually now see the bird, even though it seemed to want to hide away at every opportunity.
It is slightly smaller than a Little Egret and has a yellow beak as opposed to the black of the Little Egret. It does spend time in with cattle too, as did on this occasion.
So these are just record shots once again (as they were a couple of years ago). Hopefully one day I will get a little closer, in good light, with less vegetation, less haze etc etc. The agonies of photography. You rarely get all elements working in your favour, especially when the subjects are birds. Still a great bird to see and this took my year list to 187.
A distant but stunning Curlew Sandpiper was seen from the IMF hide. This took my total to 188. I'm hoping to get to 200 species this year, but time is running out.