Orange County Cattle Egret, 10/31/14

Cattle Egret in flight, Warwick, NY 10/31/14.
Cattle Egret in flight, Warwick, NY 10/31/14.

Just as I was leaving work today, I received a call from Rob Stone – a CATTLE EGRET had been located in Warwick, New York by Charlie West. I hustled out of work, but when I arrived at Wisner Road, I could not locate the bird. Eventually, I noticed a glimpse of white, distant in the field, among some cows. I needed to go back to my car for my scope, by the time I got back, I could not relocate the bird. Cattle Egrets are on the small side, only 20 inches in length (Great Egrets are twice as big), so I could not see the bird very well because of the tall grasses. The bird flew just as Ken McDermott pulled up, and landed in an area which was a little more distant, but the grass was short so the bird was more visible. John Haas showed up moments later and we all got good looks in the scope. Not too long after that, the egret, which was being chased by the cows, flew behind some trees and out of view. It made another short flight away from us and down over a hill. At this point, I thought I would not see the bird again; John and Ken left. Ten minutes later, Bruce Nott showed up and the bird made its final appearance; it was chased around for a bit by the cows and then took flight, making a couple large loops around the field before heading southeast and not stopping (that we could see).

I looked on eBird, and according to their records this is the third Cattle Egret in Orange County. There was one at Wallkill River NWR back in 2011 (I got to see that bird as well), and also in 2004.

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A distant look at the Cattle Egret as it relocated from one field to another. Warwick, NY 10/31/14.
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These flight photos were VERY underexposed, it was very gray and dark out, but I’m not sure what I was doing. After some work this is the best I could make this look. CAEG flies overhead, Warwick, NY 10/31/14. 
ne more of the Cattle Egret in flight - I actually did not get any perched photos. Warwick, NY 10/31/14.
One more of the Cattle Egret in flight – I actually did not get any perched photos. Warwick, NY 10/31/14.

2 thoughts on “Orange County Cattle Egret, 10/31/14”

  1. Glad you got to see the bird and got some documenting shots. Hope it returns, as I know quite a few people who are hoping it hangs in.

  2. I hope it hangs in there too John. Bruce and I tracked that bird in the air for a while until the trees between us and the bird made it tough to focus on the egret. I’ll check tomorrow for sure as I’ll head up that way for hawk watch. Good to see you tonight. Matt

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