Thursday, May 04, 2006

In Search of Cattle Egrets.

On a cool, if not cold, morning, I went in search of Cattle Egrets. I'd decided on a search of the Broadmarsh area, North of Brighton, as a possible spot and I did indeed find some. Not exactly a lot, I think the total for the entire valley was around 15, divided into 3 flocks. The biggest group of 10, were feeding with horses, another of 3 with cattle and the remaining 2 with sheep. I moved on to Hamilton and Ouse and got a big fat zero! An area that in the past would have had flocks totaling 50+ birds. On the trip back to Hobart, I drove via New Norfolk and there on the outskirts of the town--voila!--20+ Cattle Egrets, this time feeding with cattle--time for photography.
Back at the time of the first Atlas, we confidently predicted, that in a few years, we would be recording Cattle Egrets breeding, certainly on King Island, and most probably in the coastal areas of the North West of Tasmania. I suspect the prolonged drought on the Mainland, has reduced numbers and that we might have to wait a good while longer, although the North of the state still records large Wintering flocks.

1 comment:

John & Shirley Tongue said...

We saw a few - 3 to 4 - this morning between Margate and Snug. However, last Thursday we came upon probably the same 20+ birds in a paddock on the outskirts of New Norfolk, but this time with NO cattle (or any other livestock, for that matter).