Rare photo captured by teenager

An unusual event was photographed at an RSPB reserve in northern England.

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Three species of heron in one photograph

Three species of heron in one photograph © Kate Souster

 

During a visit to RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands in Cheshire, 14-year-old Kate Souster captured a photograph of three species of heron – a great white egret (left), little egret (middle) and cattle egret (right).

“I knew what a little egret was, but I’ve never seen the other two before,” says Souster. “I was especially surprised to be able to take a picture of all of them in the same photo, and another visitor told me that it was extremely rare and that he’s never seen it before.”

Whilst little egret and great white egrets are regularly seen in the UK, they are usually seen along the south and east coasts.

The little egret first bred in the UK in 1996 in Dorset, and has colonised a number of sites in the south.

Cattle egrets visit the UK, but usually only around 100 individuals each year. They have only bred in the UK twice, in 2008 and in 2017.

The staff at RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands have reported that all three birds can be seen most days from the viewing area at reception.

 

Read more wildlife news stories in BBC Wildlife Magazine

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