Wednesday, 14 June 2017

A colour-ringed GREAT WHITE EGRET in Warwickshire

Great White Egret (colour-ringed) by S Rose (14/06/17).

On the 14th June there was yet another sighting of a Great White Egret on my local patch at Alvecote Pools SSSI. Over recent years this species has became quite a regular visitor to the area following a huge range expansion on the Continent and recent breeding attempts in southern England. I never take these appearances for granted though and so I made my way down to check it out myself after work.

During early evening, Simon Rose and I found it roosting over on Upper Pool. Upon closer inspection of the bird through the scope I could see it was colour ringed. The combination was white (or cream) over yellow above the knee on the left leg and blue over red over metal above the knee on the right. The most likely colour ringing project to have involved this bird takes place at Lac de Grand-Lieu in northwest France. Apparently over forty individuals are processed there each year. I have submitted the sighting via Euring but I have yet to receive a response. I would be interested to know if anyone else out there has also spotted this individual elsewhere in Britain or beyond, so please do not hesitate to get in touch. 

In addition to the Great White Egret, we also had a trio of Avocet feeding on Teal Pool nearby. Believe it or not this was both a site record count and only my second, third and fourth sighting of this species ever on the patch, following my first one on the very same pool last year.

Avocets - Teal Pool by S Rose (14/06/17).

The GREAT WHITE EGRET at Alvecote Pools 2000-2017

It is hard to believe that it has been over seventeen years since I found my first Great White Egret at Alvecote Pools. On the 21st May 2000 I spotted a bird in flight heading directly towards me as I searched for Little Owl at the top of Laundry Lane. It flew low overhead and across the River Anker before veering over towards Mill Pool. At the time, this was the first record for Staffordshire and only the third for Warwickshire following the first at Brandon Marsh in 1992 and another at Packwood House in 1995. Since this sighting we have been lucky to have had perhaps a dozen different birds drop in at Alvecote. All sightings are listed as follows:

Great White Egret by A Archer (25/12/09).

2000 - Alvecote Pools - Laundry Lane & Mill Pool - 1 x bird on 21st May 2000.
2009 - Alvecote Pools - Mill Pool & Upper Pool - 1 x bird from 23rd to 25th December (see photo above).
2015 - Alvecote Pools - Mill Pool - 1 x bird from 19th November to 5th December on & off.
2016 - Alvecote Pools - Mill Pool - 1 x bird on 9th April only.
2016 - Alvecote Pools - Mill Pool - 1 x bird from 8th to 17th August on & off.
2016 - Alvecote Pools - Mill Pool - 2 x birds from 18th September to 9th October on & off (see photo below).
2016 - Alvecote Pools - Mill Pool & Upper Pool - 3 x birds from 10th October to 29th December on & off.
2016 - Alvecote Pools - Mill Pool & Gilman's Pool - 2 x birds on 30th & 31st December.
2017 - Alvecote Pools - Mill Pool & Gilman's Pool - 2 x birds from 1st to 6th January on & off.
2017 - Alvecote Pools - Mill Pool - 1 x bird on 2nd February only.
2017 - Alvecote Pools - Mill Pool - 2 x birds on 1st April.
2017 - Alvecote Pools - Mill Pool & Gilman's Pool - 1 x bird from 7th to 19th April on & off.
2017 - Alvecote Pools - Mill Pool & Upper Pool - 1 x colour-ringed bird on 14th June only.
  
Great White Egret by A Archer (09/10/16).

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