Fishing in the flow tide – Little egret


Oil on Italian linen, 45cm x 85cm

Once a rare sight in Britain, Little egrets have flourished in the last few decades and have spread even as far north as Scotland. At my ‘local’ estuarine reserve, Aberlady Bay in southern Scotland, there seem to be up to half a dozen of these elegant herons that have recently taken up residence.

On a flow tide when the sea floods back up the estuary, these egrets can often be seen fishing on the fry brought in on the rising tide. Unlike their larger cousin, our familiar grey heron, which stands patiently, barely moving until a fish passes by, egrets are agile hunters, dancing through the shallows, darting forwards to grab fish with that black, gimlet bill.

This was an overcast day, which made the egerts appear even brighter against the heavy grey of the reflected sky. Little patches of sea foam floated in from lower down the etsuary, ocassionally getting trapped in the rapidly submerging bladder wrack.



Select an original below

  • Redshank
  • Jewels of sunlight
  • Grey wagtail
  • Shallow waters
  • Snow charm
  • Snowy birches and ermine
  • Avocet
  • Moorhen and bulrushes
  • Melting away (snipe)
  • At the waterline
  • Winter fox
  • St Mary’s seals
  • The Gathering
  • Short-eared owl
  • Abernethy Forest pool
  • Redshank alarm
  • Evening pools – wigeon
  • Silver light
  • Aberlady Bay
  • Fishing in the flow tide – Little egret
  • Long-eared owl
  • Shrimping
  • Purple sandpipers
  • Morecambe Bay waders
  • Storm surge – gannets at Bamburgh
  • Sandpiper flight
  • Lindisfarne Bay
  • Heading north – migrating dunlin
  • Redshank
  • Against the light
  • Spring tide
  • Marsh grass
  • Warming up
  • Snow petrel
  • Smiling at the sun (rock martins at Abu Simbel)
  • Salt marsh sentinel
  • Making waves
  • Log pile
  • The sand martin and the jellyfish
  • Humpbacks in the Gerlache Strait
  • Dipper
  • Beachcombers
  • Run-off

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