Saturday, November 8, 2014

Cattle Egret: A Curiosity

 While the struggle to identify which species of Meadowlark has landed in our midst continues, I will share my observations of the Cattle Egret in Bay Bulls.
 Upon Chris Ryan's report of a Cattle Egret at a farm in Bay Bulls, I decided to go straight away to see it.
 When I arrived, I found the Cattle Egret exactly where it was reported. It was practically hugging the wall of a building on the fenced-in property.
 I'm sure this egret has seen many varieties of livestock, but it is not likely the sheep, cows or horses of Newfoundland have seen even one Cattle Egret.
 It appeared to be a real curiosity to these sheep, and it seemed they really didn't want to share their space with this small, white creature.
 They watched it from afar, and they moved in closer to get a better look..
 The egret didn't seem to like all of the attention and moved several times in an effort to get away.
 Persistently, the sheep pursued it.
 It was quite interesting to watch as one-by-one the sheep tried to figure out what this two-legged creature was.
 It became a game as they would flush it, it would circle and return to the grounds.
 The egret was really white and really healthy. There were no signs of wear or tear on it after its long journey that brought it to us.
 When the bird returned to the field after one flush, it seemed to appeal to this docile sheep for help. Getting nowhere and receiving yet-another nudge, it lifted off.
 This time, it went high, circled around a time or two and then apparently decided it needed to move on.
Flying south, it headed back up to the larger farm where it was later seen by several other birders later in the day. What a thrill it was to watch all of this unfold. The wonder of bird watching never grows old.

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