I have some other great shots from today, but I’m going to concentrate on the absolute peak sighting: a Great White Egret. Unlike the smaller (and common) Little Egret, this large white heron is very rare indeed, and nationally their numbers range in the low double-figures (20-30 max). The first UK breeding pair was seen elsewhere in the country in 2012. This one is a hugely welcome visitor to the Arundel Wetland Centre, one of the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust reserves, and has been there – I think – since Sunday.
Apart from its size (roughly the same as a grey heron), the Great White is most easily recognized by its yellow bill. And unlike the Little Egret, it has black feet (visible in this next photo).
The hide where I took these shots was – not surprisingly – fairly busy. In the later afternoon it came in closer as it hunted for fish (all tiddlers it seems), which is when I took most of this next sequence.
That was definitely special, but I can’t not post one shot of the other star sighting of the day. This cute little water vole (the real ‘Ratty’) seen munching away on the banks of the waterway.
Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM IS lens.