Great White Egret - Goldcliff

I had a spin around Uskmouth this morning - lots of Goldcrests in the hedgerow by the car park and what sounded like a Firecrest mixed in. I didn't see any Winter Thrushes and unlike Monday I didn't see or hear any Beardies. There were a couple of Wigeon mixed in with Mallard on the high tide and a couple of Curlew down there as well. A Little Egret was fishing in the lagoon close to the visitor's centre. So after a coffee I decided to pop down to Goldcliff. 

Not much happening by hide one so I decided to go straight to the new viewing platform which has been incredibly rich of late. Sure enough it didn't disappoint because right in front of me by the reed bed there were four Little Egrets, Spotted Redshank, Redshank, Greenshank and on the other side of the reeds four Ruff. Tracking back with my binoculars I almost fell off the seat when I saw my first Great White Egret, one of a pair visiting today. I had a recent conversation about how soon they might spread from their established stronghold just over the Bristol Channel in Somerset and this could be a scouting operation. One flew West but the other which was over by hide one at this point flew back and landed right in front of me enabling me to take some photos and video. Fortunately it posed next to a Little Egret so I could see the difference in size. It was mobbed by a Heron and eventually flew off although if the two Great Whites had been together I think they would have been able to resist the heron - they are about the same size.

Little Egrets with Spotted Redshanks, GreenShank and Common Redshank

Little Egrets with Great White in the distance.

Great White Egret

Just a few comparison shots. 

  • A lovely set of pics John. You can really see the size difference between the Egrets. Love the Great White Egret stepping out.

    Kind regards


  • In reply to nairnred:

    Just gorgeous pics John, you have got the light on the water just right, showing off your lovely birds.   Then the shots of the Great White Egret against the Little Egret are superb.   Many thanks for coming back on to show us your trips.

    Lot to learn

  • In reply to gaynorsl:

    Lovely to see the G.W.Egret and in the same shot with the L.Egret and the various 'shanks, very nice John.


    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • In reply to gaynorsl:

    A lovely collection, John--thanks for posting!  I like the atmosphere of many of them--very arty.  And how lucky to see a Great White Egret!  Mr. GB and I have yet to see one.  As for the community, people seem to come and go but there are often new people posting.  Many reserves are like Newport Wetlands in that only a few people post anything from them.  We occasionally go to Pulborough Brooks and many months can go by without anyone posting anything from there.  You just need to chat up a few more folk at the Wetlands and urge them to post a few photos!  In the meantime, I hope you will continue to post your photos.

    Kind regards, 


  • In reply to Gardenbirder:

    Thank you all so much - I feel inspired and I've got a few nice images 'in the can'.

  • In reply to Gardenbirder:

    Great set John, nice to see the size difference and to see the Great White pay homage to the Little Egret as it passed, by walking all hunched up like a Little Egret.




    My Flickr:

  • In reply to Bobs_Still_Retired:

    Thanks Bob. Haha, yes I guess it is. The Great White ended up being chased off by a Heron but I got a fair bit of video before that happened!

  • In reply to john_l_uk:

    Lovely set of shots - fingers crossed this guy is the first of many making the trip across the channel now

  • In reply to Nickynackynoo:

    Thanks Nicky - hear, hear.

    There was another visit the day after i shot these. I know that the Cranes that have just successfully bred in Gwent for the first time in 400 years started with a few reconnaissance visits

  • In reply to john_l_uk:

    The GWE's have been passing through the Gwent Levels / Newport wetlands areas for several years now. they appear to stop off here before carrying on to Ham Wall for breeding, and again after breeding.

    It is possible that they are already breeding this side of the water as a few juvenile birds have been sighted in the autumn "passage".

    Best regards

    | My Images |  Newport Wetlands on Flickr @barman58