Birdwatch: cattle egret sighting is proof staying local brings rewards

Birdwatch: cattle egret sighting is proof staying local brings rewards

Punk-haired bird is the 100th species I’ve seen within a mile of my Somerset home

It’s happened several times before. I’m on the phone, chatting to a friend or colleague, when suddenly I have to cut the call short because an unusual bird is flying overhead.

One rainy spring afternoon, back in the mid-1980s, an osprey unexpectedly appeared above my childhood home. A few autumns ago, another osprey, this time being mobbed by ravens, flew south over my Somerset garden. And last month (again over the garden), three birds with long, trailing legs, looking rather like oversized white doves: cattle egrets.

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