Egret at home on the Loch Fyne Riviera

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Ken MacTaggart from Inveraray sent in this photograph before Christmas of a rare sight around the Royal Burgh.

He explained: ‘My friend Donald John MacDonald spotted this rare bird, a little egret, in Inveraray where it has lingered for several days. It wades around feeding in the bay by the front green at low tide.

‘It really stands out from the gulls, dazzling white with yellow feet. I’ve seen one in the south of England where they are invading from France, probably due to climate warming.

‘It’s not yet officially a Scottish resident bird, but has been seen in the Borders and elsewhere.

‘They are also seen in Lochgilphead, but the Argyll Bird Club says this is the first in Inveraray.’

According to the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s website, the little egret is: ‘…a smaller member of the Heron family, white with a black bill, black legs and yellow feet.

It continues: ‘… their first breeding record in the whole of the UK was less than 20 years ago, and most bird guides claim that they are only found in the South of England.

‘However, climate change is driving natives of the Mediterranean such as the little egret further north each year.’