John Stott would have been ‘Chuffed’

Posted on 03 February 2009
Senior evangelical statesman and amateur ornithologist would have been delighted at today's sighting!

Driving along Southchurch Boulevard, Stephen spotted a Little Egret on the central reservation. Until the 1950s, the Little Egret was restricted to southern Europe. Over the next few decades it became increasingly common in western France and later on the north coast. It bred in the Netherlands in 1979 with further breeding in the 1990s.

In Great Britain it was rare until the late twentieth century and almost certainly did not breed. In contrast, it has for just over a decade now become a regular breeding species and is commonly sighted, often in large numbers at favoured coastal sites. The first breeding record is generally accepted as having been on Brownsea Island in Dorset in 1996, although it has been claimed that the species bred in Sussex in the 1970s. There are now several colonies across southern England and the species bred in Wales for the first time in 2002.

This was Stephen’s first sighting and he is rather excited!

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