Little Egret Egretta garzetta

When I started birding Little Egret was a very rare visitor anywhere in the UK, coming from southern Europe. Records began increasing in the 1980s and I never forget the comment in the 1988 Rarities report regarding an observation of five birds together: "The observer must have checked the alignment of his binoculars before believing his eyes" (British Birds 82:512). Little did we know then how common-place this would soon become. In August 1989 an unprecedented influx took place kicking off with what was my first ever sighting at my local reservoir in Kent. But this influx turned out not to be a one-off event and numbers increased at a phenomenal rate - before long they were wintering in their hundreds and even breeding in a few locations.

Now Little Egret is such a common species throughout much of the country that most birders don't even bother to record them.

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Little Egret, Cley (Norfolk, UK), 5th July 2008

 

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Little Egret, Brancaster Staithe (Norfolk, UK), 4th November 2008

 

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Little Egret, Morston (Norfolk, UK), 28th February 2009

 

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Little Egret, Brancaster Staithe (Norfolk, UK), 1st December 2010

 

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Little Egret, Brancaster Staithe (Norfolk, UK), 3rd November 2012

 

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Little Egret, Snettisham (Norfolk, UK), 8th December 2012

 

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Little Egret, Cley (Norfolk, UK), 25th August 2013

 

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Little Egret, Morston (Norfolk, UK), 1st March 2014

 

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Little Egret, Hayle (Cornwall, UK), 3rd March 2007

 

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Little Egret, Minsmere (Suffolk, UK), 12th May 2007

 

Little Egret, Brancaster Staithe (Norfolk, UK), 24th October 2008

 

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Little Egret, Brancaster Staithe (Norfolk, UK), 20th January 2006

 

Little Egret, Hayle (Cornwall, UK), 3rd March 2007

 

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Little Egret, Titchwell (Norfolk, UK), 1st November 2004

 

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Little Egret, Cley (Norfolk, UK), 13th October 2007

 

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Little Egret, Cley (Norfolk, UK), 3rd December 2011

 

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Little Egrets, Granelli (Sicily, Italy), 1st May 2012

 

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Little Egrets, Granelli (Sicily, Italy), 28th April 2012

 

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Little Egret, Hoe Rough (Norfolk, UK), 22nd February 2009

 

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Little Egret, Thornham (Norfolk, UK), 1st November 2008

 

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Little Egret, Hickling NWT (Norfolk, UK), 23rd August 2009

 

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Little Egret, Minsmere (Suffolk, UK), 10th September 2011

 

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Little Egret, Snettisham (Norfolk, UK), 19th September 2003

 

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Little Egret, Titchwell (Norfolk, UK), 23rd January 2004

 

Little Egret, Titchwell (Norfolk, UK), 22nd March 2004

 

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Little Egret, Hayle (Cornwall, UK), 7th October 2005

 

Little Egret, Hayle (Cornwall, UK), 21st October 2004

 

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Little Egret, Brancaster Staithe (Norfolk, UK), 21st December 2004

 

Little Egret, Titchwell (Norfolk, UK), 12th December 2004

 

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Little Egret, Warham Greens (Norfolk, UK), 3rd January 2009

 

Little Egrets, Stiffkey (Norfolk, UK), 31st January 2009

 

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Little Egret, Brancaster Staithe (Norfolk, UK), 24th August 2006

 

Little Egret, Red Wharf Bay (Anglesey, UK), 19th November 2005

 

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Little Egret, Brancaster Staithe (Norfolk, UK), 23rd November 2007

 

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Little Egret, Burnham Norton (Norfolk, UK), 23rd May 2009

 

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Little Egret, Graffham Water (Cambridgeshire, UK), 24th September 2011

 

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Little Egret, Burnham Overy (Norfolk, UK), 1st May 2014

 

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Little Egret, Riet Vell, Ebro Delta (Cataluña, Spain), 21st May 2013

 

Little Egret, Burnham Overy (Norfolk, UK), 3rd October 2013

 

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Little Egret, Brancaster Staithe (Norfolk, UK), 19th December 2007

 

Little Egret, Camargue (Bouche-du-Rhone, France), 25th May 2000

 

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Little Egret, Swanton Morley (Norfolk, UK), 20th February 2010

 

Little Egret, Makuzi Lodge (Malawi), 8th October 2008

 

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Little Egrets, Swanton Morley (Norfolk, UK), 3rd May 2008

 

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Little Egret, Swanton Morley (Norfolk, UK), 31st July 2011

 

Little Egret, Worthing (Norfolk, UK), 3rd December 2011

 

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Little Egret, Brancaster Staithe (Norfolk, UK), 24th August 2006

 

Little Egret, Brancaster Staithe (Norfolk, UK), 4th February 2008

 

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Little Egret, Göksu Delta (Turkey), 9th May 2010

 

Little Egrets, Marais Salants de Guérande (Loire Atlantique, France), 26th June 2009

 

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Little Egret, Camargue (Bouche-du-Rhone, France), 6th May 1999

 

Little Egret, Titchwell (Norfolk, UK), 1st November 2004

 

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Little Egret, Granelli (Sicily, Italy), 29th April 2012 - a badly contaminated bird

 

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Little Egret, Morston (Norfolk, UK), 20th June 2012

 

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Little Egret, Titchwell (Norfolk, UK), 7th July 2012

 

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Little Egrets, West Lexham (Norfolk, UK), 29th March 2014

 

Little Egret, Burnham Overy (Norfolk, UK), 8th March 2014

 

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Little Egret, Titchwell (Norfolk, UK), 27th February 2003

 

Little Egret, Titchwell (Norfolk, UK), 23rd January 2004

 

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Little Egret, Marazion (Cornwall, UK), 1st October 2005

 

Little Egret, Camargue (Bouche-du-Rhone, France), 30th May 2000

 

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Little Egret, Titchwell (Norfolk, UK), 22nd March 2004