1 Mar 2010
Latest sightings from BirdGuides, 28 Feb at 23:29
28/02 23:29 DOWN : Cattle Egret, Dundonald [A]
by river in Moat Park (for 16th day)
It was a beautiful morning this morning and I had received the above email during the night from Birdguides. Dundonald is a suburb of Belfast. My first inclination was that it was a Little Egret as I have only ever seen Cattle Egret in open land next to animals, In Italy around Water Buffalo and in Africa feeding with Giraffe. They are seen in Ireland but I never have.
So I parked in the Macdonalds car park and walked along the stream. Lots of litter, 2 Grey wagtail and eventually a Little Egret.
If you are into Bird Photography this bird is fairly approachable for a Little Egret. if you get too close it will fly perhaps a hundred yards further down the stream.
I then headed home and stopped off at the Castle Island Hide on the River Quoile. The view out the front of the Mourne Mountains covered in snow was wonderful.
The water levels were very high and out on the water there were about twenty Goldeneye displaying. Suddenly a flock of about fifty Lapwing took to the sky and I looked over to see what had spooked them expecting a Sparrowhawk or possibly Peregrine but no even better in my opinion flying over the rushes on the far side of the bay was a Hen Harrier. It was nicely backlit but too far away for a decent image.This is a heavily cropped shot.