Friday, 10 October 2014

Herons, Egrets and Ruff at Abberton Reservoir

30th September 2014

The cloud and mist had just started to clear as we arrived at Layer Breton causeway for breakfast and a cup of coffee. The water levels between the causeways had gone down considerably since our last visit exposing large expanses of mud around the margins. A Grey Heron and Little Egret were making the most of the bounty of shoals of fry in the warm shallows just out from the bank. Can't beat a bit of sunlight and some calm water.

The Little Egret's larger cousin, the Great White Egret, was also feeding in the shallows, but unfortunately 200 yards away. These relative newcomers are increasing in numbers rapidly and before long will be resident at Abberton. This particular individual has already been present for a couple of weeks and has recently been joined by a second.

But the stars of today were once again the Ruff. Far fewer than our last visit but irresistable nonetheless. There was an adult male feeding some way away but these two juvenile males stole the show by parading up and down just 20 yards away at the water's edge. What stunning plumage for an otherwise brown bird.

Well that was successful and nothing showing at the Layer de la Haye causeway, so off to see what Mersea has to offer.

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