First of all, a very very Happy Christmas to anyone and especially everyone that knows me.
In the last few days I have had some very pleasant outings whilst trying to get photographs of the Kingfisher that I have been concentrating on recently. The little hide that I have put up has now settled into the habitat, It's covered with vegetation to camouflage it and if you didn't know it was there you would walk right past it. The secret is to blend everything in to the scene by gradually adding stems of reed mace, docks and himalayan balsam etc. and disguising the square shape to make it look as natural as possible. The consequence is, the birds are really accepting of what just looks like a clump of vegetation and even the usually very wary resident Little Egret has given me some lovely views and great photo opportunities. I was sat in there the other day and suddenly the Egret "plonked" itself right there in the stream, so close that I couldn't get it all in the camera's frame. I said that egrets can be very wary and I think that this is because their eyesight is extremely good. I was interested to see that this bird has a slight deformity or damage to the beak, it doesn't close properly. This doesn't seem to have any effect on it's health or its ability to catch prey. However it does mean that I can identify this individual when I see it again. I assume that they are territorial but today when I went for a nice pleasant afternoon there were two egrets in the vicinity but together and not interacting. I often think about the first time I saw a Little Egret in 1992 - they first bred in the UK in 1986 - at the time I was very excited, I had only seen them abroad before and now to see them in Devon was really good. If you think about it, their colonisation and subsequent expansion seems to have occurred and gone hand in hand with the internet and the World Wide Web. Now everyone has a computer and is "connected" but back in the the early 90's Little Egrets and the Internet were brand new in the UK!