22 July 2005

Egrets? I've had a few (sorry)

Amazingly, another Little Egret turned up tonight, and this time even closer to home. Leam Valley is my local nature reserve, a stretch of water with woodland, parks, arable farmland and a 'scrape', an area of shallow open water overlooked by a hide. This can often be completely devoid of birdlife, but has also provided me with much local birding pleasure (the scrape is less than a mile from my house).

Tonight we arrived to find a Little Egret patrolling the margins, a wonderful bird giving great views.

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One of its most notable characteristics is that although its long legs are black, its feet are bright yellow (when they are not covered with mud!). The overall impression is of a skinny ballerina in yellow socks. This is quite striking and fascinating to look at, as is the birds habit of agitating the mud with his feet to stir up food items. I could watch them for hours, and tonight I did.

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