Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Egrets (and other birds) at Lake Eyasi

I'm at Eyasi at the moment, and busy having fun. But I've taken a few pictures and though it might be worth posting some egret shots, since these species often confuse people - white, heron-like birds. So, here are a few examples with the key pointers (unfortunately no intermediate egrets around at the moment, so I can't complete the inland set!):
Cattle Egret, Lake Eyasi, Aug 2011
This one's easy. That brown thing is a cow, so it must be a cattle egret! Unfortunately they don't always do that... Still, the beak is pretty short and yellow with a steep forehead and the neck is short and fat. THe only inland confusion should be with Intermediate (or Yellow-billed if you prefer that name) Egret, which has a longer beak, less sloped forehead and different gape - where the pale line goes up to the beak. You might also make out yellowish legs on this picture.
Great White Egrey, Kisima Ngeda, Eyasi, Aug 2011

Next up a great white egret. Note here the gape goes right behind the eye and it has a really long, strongly curved neck. Intermediate would have a much shorter gape (not as short as cattle though) and a shorter neck (not as short as cattle). It's also got black legs when it's not breeding.

Little Egret, Eyasi, Aug 2011

And finally a Little Egret - inland this shouldn't be too tricky - it's got a long black beak with just a little yellow by the eye, and black legs (with yellow feet if they're not too muddy).

If I find an intermediate I'll post that too to complete the inland set!

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