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1999: Little Egret, Clevedon

Little Egret

How appropriate that my ten-year British retrospective should move almost to my present doorstep. From September 9:

“What was I doing here? The tide was miles out and it was three o’clock in the afternoon – a sure recipe for no birds. And so it had proved. One grey heron, a curlew and a flock of linnets had provided the highlights on my walk from the town to the golf course.

“I sat down on the most comfortable boulder I could find overlooking an expanse of mud and rocks. Out of habit I scanned the scene in front of me and located a small group of teal. I had not expected them at this time of the year.

“I kept looking through the binoculars and suddenly a large white shape filled the view. How could I have missed that? A little egret as clear as you could want. I watched for a while as it hunted, waggling its feet in the water and darting occasionally with its bill. I had only seen egrets along the south coast before, so this definitely counted as a good sighting.

“Maybe Clevedon isn’t so bad after all.”

Hey, that’s why I came back to the place! I suspect little egrets are a lot more common now, though.

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