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Blagdon Lake Birds

Western Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis (Linnaeus, 1758)

Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis

(Very rare vagrant)

  1. One, adult, 8th June 2009 (R. Curber, N.R. Milbourne et al.).
  2. Four, not aged, 15th Sep. 2018 (K.E. Vinicombe).
  3. Two, probable adults, 10th Dec. 2018 (T. Doman, N.R. Milbourne, P. Delve).
  4. Four, not aged, 10th Dec. 2018 (P. Delve, T. Doman), possibly included the two seen earlier on the same day.
  5. One, adult, 31st July 2020 (N.R. Milbourne).
  6. Five, not aged, 13th Sep. 2020 (N.R. Milbourne).
  7. Eleven, ten adults & a juvenile, 14th Sep. 2020 (N.R. Milbourne), assumed to have included five seen earlier in the day that were flushed by a Marsh Harrier.
  8. One, adult, 18th-19th Sep. 2020 (N.R. Milbourne et al.)
  9. Nine, mixed ages, 29th Nov. 2020 (M. Hynam, N.R. Milbourne).


Roy Curber found an adult Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis sitting in a tree at 1610 hrs along the Burmah Road shoreline. He very kindly drove up to my house and Celia called me at work. I high-tailed it to the lake and met Roy, but despite searching for an hour we could not relocate the bird. I went home, rather disconsolate for my evening meal and then back to the lake for another look. Imagine my surprise, therefore, when, as I was looking through a herd of cattle on the farm at Long Bay, it flew in over my head and landed among the grazing cows at 2005 hrs. However, I couldn't see it on the ground and as I moved to try and get a better view, it flew up and over the farm buildings and out of sight. As I got further along the south side road to Hellfire Corner I spotted the bird again, sitting among the flooded branches of the Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo roost preening itself. I rang around the local birders and several made it to the lake before it flew into the willows and out of sight, presumably to roost. It was not seen the following day.

Bibliography (sources of information):

  1. Rose, Dr H.E. 2009. Avon Bird Report, 2009. Avon Ornithological Group.