Little Egret

Little Egret The South Downs near Midhurst Bepton

I wasn’t expecting to see an Egret at the end of the garden!

We’re lucky enough to have a field at the end of our garden. And even luckier to have an Egret wandering around it too!

Little Egrets first appeared in the UK in 1989 and first bred in Dorset in 1996. I remember it well; I was a National Trust junior helper on Brownsea Island at the time. Seeing a Little Egret in the 1990s was pretty special and it’s still exciting now – especially when you see one from your kitchen window!

Egret numbers have increased steadily and there are an estimated 600-700 breeding pairs, with a population boost in winter with birds popping up from France and Spain. Nearby Chichester Harbour is an Egret hotspot, so not such a huge surprise to see one on The South Downs.

25 years ago if I’d told you that I’d said I’d seen an Egret from my house you might rightly have greeted me with some considerable scepticism or disbelief. Whilst they’re now relatively common I’m really pleased I grabbed a photo of this Egret – because I still can’t quite believe it myself!

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