Sunday, May 9, 2010

Cattle Egret In Portland On Mother's Day

Mark Twain once said: "If you don't like the weather in new England, just wait a few minutes. Last weekend I was watching warblers in 80 degree weather. This weekend we had rain, temperatures in the 50's, and 40 mile per hour winds. I thought that it might be difficult to search for warblers on such a windy morning so I decided to see what sort of birds might be lurking in the fields at Portland Fairgrounds. To my surprise, there was a Cattle Egret patrolling the grassy area near the skating pond. Cattle Egrets are white with a yellowish bill like a Great Egret but are much shorter and stockier.

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According to All About Birds, Cattle Egrets are native to Africa and Asia and didn't reach the United States until 1941. I'm not sure how frequently they occur in Connecticut but this was the first one I've seen in Portland so I was very pleased. There were also some shorebirds including this Killdeer that was staring me down with its red eye. I wonder if the red eye reduction in photoshop would work on a killdeer?
Least but not last, I spent a little time hanging with my peeps, the Least Sandpipers.
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There was also a yellowlegs hanging out at the local mud puddle. I'm not always confident about telling a Lesser from a Greater Yellowlegs by sight unless I see the two of them side by side. The greater are known for making a 3 note calls but the bird in the video seems to be calling out in rapid single notes so I'm thinking this is a Lesser Yellowlegs.


Erica Houskeeper said...

Hi Larry,

Even though the weather has been crazy (it snowed today in Vermont), the birds seem to take it in stride.

That's' exciting that you saw a Cattle Egret. What a unique and beautiful bird!

Take care,

Dan Huber said...

a nice find for ct indeed, I have seen them but muchfurther south :)


Ruth said...

I have seen very few wading birds so far this year. I went to a lagoon last weekend where thousands of birds usually rest and there was nothing there but a few Kildeer. I don't know if Cattle Egrets have made it up this far north.

Larry said...

Erica-Snow in Vermont-that is some crazy weather.A weekend of snow won't bother those birds.It will probably bother some people more.

forestal-From my understanidng, they are occurring more frequently in CT than they used to.

Ruth-They can be hard to predict but there are some people out there days that do a pretty good job of predicting bird migration patterns.

Kathie Brown said...

Cattle egrets in CT? Wow! Thanks for the Happy Mother's Day greeting!

Lana Gramlich said...

Beware the demon killdeer! *L*
I saw a cattle egret in Canada once. It stood in the same spot literally all day. I wondered how he'd gotten lost from his flock & what he was going to do now...

Dawn Fine said...

Great find! I am not good at telling the two yellows apart either..
Nice Videos!

Chris said...

Hi Larry,
Nice shot of the egret and kildeer!!! I cannot help you with the yellow leg though! Well done on these pictures!

Radka said...

On the blog you have amazing photos. I like to photograph his son Matěj. Have a nice day Radka.

steadyjohn said...

Great photos and videos Larry; I'll have to check out the fairgrounds; so close but I seldom go by there.

Larry said...

Kathiebirds-The Cattle Egrets have been showing up here and there over the last couple of years.

Lana-Killdeer do have those spooky eyes. The cattle Egret at the fairgrounds looked a little confused.

Chris-Thanks Chris

Radka-thanks for stopping by.

SteadyJohn-You would probably enjoy taking a walk along the river. You should try it some time.