Great White Egret – photo special

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.

Great white egret

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).

Great white egret

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.

Great white egret

Great white egret

Great white egret

Great white egret

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.

water vole

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM IS lens.

A Fox on the Blog

After a day and a half of rain, the sun finally appeared early this evening, along with a fox. Both were more than welcome sights, especially as fox sightings have been few and far between recently, and photographic opportunities virtually zero.

The fox is a male, and is showing some signs of early mange. It’s difficult to be certain, but there were several small lesions on his back and legs and he did spend time scratching and biting at himself. On the plus side he was confident enough to stand and watch when I went out into the garden, though the featured shots here were taken through a window.

Foxes

Foxes

Small lesion visible on front leg

Foxes

Foxes

I’ve many more photos to work through so there are likely to be more of him tomorrow. Nice to have a fox back on the blog though!

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D and EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens.

Fox and Badger on a Rainy Night

The Bank Holiday yesterday was a total washout, but it gave me time to go through some trail camera clips, including this little sequence from about a week ago (when it was also wet and windy). The fox looks relatively young, and it one of the new nightly regulars.

Camera note: footage captured on the Bushnell Trophy HD trail camera.