With the Jims needing Buff-breasted Sandpiper for a tick we headed off down to Dunge this morning. A quick trip down Gallaways gave up nothing of note but we did find six Cattle Egrets at the farm on the reserve. At ARC we had stunning views of a Bittern as it walked around in front of Hanson hide. Five Great White Egrets hunted here too but at greater distance.
We waited for news of the Buff Breast but by 11am only had one negative message. With it being a lifer we decided to make the trip anyway so the short drive was made and the long walk started.As we headed out a stream of birders headed back all reporting no joy despite a long search. As we arrived at the gates to look back across the water we could see why they had struggled.
Four birders remained with us searching and after a while we found the target bird in the distance and in a rather nasty heat haze but the view was clear enough to ID the bird and get the guys the reward they wanted. We managed to get the other four guys on it and get news out hoping some of those walking back could turn around and see the bird.
On the way home we did our usual stop at Elmley to break the journey and found another six Cattle Egrets from the entrance track. It looks like Great Whites and Cattle Egrets really are set to follow the fortunes of Little Egrets and become ever more common here.