Friday, 29 December 2017

Egrets and Herons

Keen observers will have no doubt noticed the arrival in recent years of a small white heron, the Little Egret, on the Northumberland Coast. Now regarded as an established breeding bird much on the increase, it will require considerable research in order to establish any impacts of this new predator of fish and invertebrates on wetland and coastal areas. It is clear that the grey Heron has a slightly different hunting strategy, quiet stealth, an angled motionless poise then an explosive stab at the fish below.

Grey Heron

The Little Egret is a much more energetic hunter, chasing prey around in rock pools, raising wings to flush prey, or vigorously wiggling bright yellow feet to uncover the contents of the mud.
Little Egret

Though frequently mobbed by gulls and crows, other small waders and ducks are less troubled by feeding proximity to the Little Egret, however, they stay clear from the Grey Heron.
Little Egret & Black-Headed Gull
Blog Entry by a Lindisfarne NNR Volunteer.

There are several bird hides across the reserve including one fresh water hide at the Lough on Holy Island. Other hides look out onto coastal habitats at Fenham-le-Moor and Elwick. A new viewing platform has also been a commissioned for Budle Bay, this will be installed in 2018. For optimal bird watching experiences, wear natural coloured clothing rather than bright, vibrant outerwear, keep noise disturbance to a minimum, watch on a rising tide as this draws the birds closer to the observer….and enjoy!

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