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Little egrets

Posted by John Webb 
Little egrets
August 01, 2018 01:05PM
Any April - June evening roost counts we did at Leighton Moss were in single figures. Sometimes other birds came in towards the roost, or landed in the trees next to it, then flew out N or NW.
Yesterday, 31st July, a walk Jack Scout, JBP, Heald Brow, had 27 in a tight group sheltering from the wind in a creek in from JBP chimney. A count from Causeway Hide (19.35 - 21.40) recorded a minimum of 64 going into the roost between 20.00 and 21.25.
Re: Little egrets
August 01, 2018 04:13PM
Hi John,

Is this coincidence that Egret numbers seem to shoot up both on the Kent and LM? Are these groups the same? Is this a mass fledging from local breeding sites?

Thanks for any thoughts,

Re: Little egrets
August 01, 2018 06:52PM
Previous years numbers have risen at LM during August, with peaks usually occurring in September. My understanding is that this has been put down to post-breeding irruptive behaviour. If so, this could account for simultaneous increases both sides of the Kent estuary. It is unlikely that the regular seasonal increase can be put down to local breeders, given the size of local colonies.

However, there is also some evidence of movement between roosts, e.g. LM and Dallam.

Currently there is a programme of co-ordinated end of month roost counts across Cumbria. I was asked if I could feed in LM counts so that any relevance to the Cumbria figures could be assessed. We may get a clearer picture when the Cumbria survey is completed.

Hope this helps.

Re: Little egrets
August 01, 2018 08:34PM
A boat trip yesterday intended to be a shelduckling count which revealed 48 turned out to be an amazing Little Egret safari with a count from Sunderland Point to the pylons across the Lune on Coloway marsh revealing 78 birds.

Alan Smith
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