Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Cattle Egret near Wallaceburg

On my way home from work (or to work) I usually stop at Stewart Wetland to see if anything decent is in.  99.9% of the time there is nothing of significance!  With the lack of rain this summer, water levels were low and lots of shorebirds stopped by, but I never saw anything unusual.
Today, when I stopped at Stewart, on the little island I saw a Double-crested Cormorant and a white heron-type that was smaller than the cormorant.  It could only be a Cattle Egret!  This was one of the days I did not have my camera, so I went home, got the camera and went back out.  Conditions were not all that great for photography, but I did manage to find an opening in the forest of phragmites.

To be honest, I have never seen a Cattle Egret around the Wallaceburg birding area (I keep a data base of bird sightings roughly following the diameter of the Wallaceburg Christmas bird count circle).
The was one Cattle Egret three years ago at the Cornelis farm north of Wallaceburg (31 Oct 2007).  In the late 1980's, Anton Van Eerd saw six on a dairy farm near that same location.  There have been some on Walpole Island in the early 1980's, suggesting breeding.

Stewart Wetland was good for shorebirds in the first couple of seasons after it was created (late summer 2005).  I the spring of 2006 I found a female Ruff there, only a week after a well-seen male Ruff was at the Bossu Wetland (Cornelis farm)!  There is always potential there as many things seem to fly through right here.
I will keep checking the area, and maybe something else will show up.


  1. Great bird! Always fun to get photos when one finds a rarity, no matter what the light is like.

  2. Blake,
    Great photo! I don't think I would have been so keen, especially with the lack of mature plumage.