Our volunteer work party has been busy today with the important task of clearing some of the most dense areas of willow on the reserve. Watching on while they worked was a handful of great white egrets and a resident kestrel!
We are lucky to have regular sightings of great white egrets here at Dungeness, but they a still a fairly rare visitor to the UK. The little egret is now a pretty common sight to us, although just 25 years ago we would have been jumping for joy at having caught a glimpse of one! The RSPB's Northward Hill reserve in north Kent is lucky enough to host one of the UK's largest and most famous colonies of little egrets in the country, but happily for us many choose to spend their time here as well.
One of the oddest things about watching these beautiful birds, especially for a relative newcomer to bird watching like me, is how difficult the little and great white egrets can be to tell apart, considering they are very different in size! It's amazing how a bit of distance can trick your eyes!
Here's a link to a video that gives us newbies a few pointers: http://www.bto.org/about-birds/bird-id/bto-bird-id-little-egret-and-great-white-egret
A great white egret conveniently poses next to a little egret.