Tuesday 4 September 2018

The Little Egret Two Months Later

The Spaniard's Bay Little Egret was big news on 1 July even though non-birders had been iphone snapping it for at least two weeks. It was a classic breeding plumage Little Egret. The 11th record for Newfoundland.  The bird hung around for the summer. It took a week long vacation across  Conception Bay to Kelligrews but returned to Spaniard's Bay where the feeding was just too good to leave. I visited Spaniard's Bay on 1st September to look for shorebirds and hoped to see if the Little Egret was still around. Surprisingly it was easy to find by the main bridge in Spaniard's Bay. 

It was in a place where I could drive my car behind a building and point the camera out through the car window between the weed stalks. The weed stalks hide most of me and broke up the image of the car. The bird was probably already used to vehicles since it was feeding next to a busy road. We became intimate over the next hour and a half. Not sure that it ever seriously acknowledged my presence but I felt blessed to watch it from point blank range.

The following pictures shows the bird in various poses.  The two spaghetti plumes on the back of the head have been moulted away as expected in late summer. See my July 2018 blog posting of the bird in high breeding plumage.  

The following is the series of photos I selected from the multitudes.

For those that don't know a Snowy Egret, the Little Egret is a slightly bigger species with a somewhat heavier neck and longer bill. The classic field mark of colour of the lores being yellow on the Snowy Egret and bluish on Little Egret are evident o all of the following pictures. The dark yellow marks at base of lores is wholly typical of Little Egret and does not indicate anything to do with a Snowy Egret.



  1. Beautiful capture Bruce. This little egret was a cause for much excitement for many people, and lovely it stayed around so long.
    The Shearstown Estuary has traditionally been a biodiversity hotspot and is provincially recognized as a significant birding destination, acting as a breeding ground and staging area for multiple avian species. The conserved domain of the estuary contains some 135 acres of salt marshes, shared ownership, and responsibility for a total of 195.6 acres a rare wetland type in NL.
    Our committee has worked hard on the upgrades & glad to see it being used not only by birders but walkers.
    Cathy Kleinwort, Chairperson
    Joint Management Committee
    Shearstown Estuary

  2. Lovely pictures thanks for sharing


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