That’s no swan

Spring is on the way and it’s time to start keeping an eye out for the migratory birds. I took the Mega-Tamron out for a walk, I knew that there were swans in the open water in Ljusnedalssjön. I found two pairs of swans, a bit sad that there were no young birds, but then I saw a fifth swan alone on the right and trained my lens on that. And found that it was not a swan – it was an egret! How exciting was that, on a scale! I saw a heron last year, it flew over me and I assumed it was a grey heron because it’s the most common of the herons here. And before that, I’ve only ever seen one other heron (grey) in Sweden.

Great egret
It’s white, but it’s not a swan!

But this one is not grey… it’s most definitely a white one, a great egret (Egretta alba) to be specific! My bird guide (from 2007)  says that there are about 20 great egret observations in Sweden every year, while Wikipedia doesn’t go into such specifics but indicates that the numbers are growing. There is one confirmed nesting in Sweden so far. But whatever way you look at it, I reckon this is the rarest bird on my very short list of bird sightings! And at the moment I’m probably the only one who has seen this bird here, because I didn’t see any footprints in the snow in either of the spots where the bird is visible. You can’t see it from the road, and I only found it because I wanted to get a picture of those swans. Lucky!

There is a ring on the egret but even 900mm was not enough to see the details. Speaking of 900mm, this was the first time I used the Mega-Tamron on the Sony A6300 since I upgraded the adapter firmware. It worked great so I don’t need to regret selling the Canon!

Swans with mountain background
The swans are really skittish, they stayed on the furthest edge of the open water while I was there
Sleeping swans
And it was apparently enough distance to feel safe enough to sleep
white-throated dipper
Suddenly I heard this really loud chirping close to me and figured that it was this white-throated dipper.
great egret
I was too far away from the egret when I found it, but there was another spot that got me a bit closer. That got me closer to the swans as well, which promptly swam away, and for a moment I thought the egret would also disappear when it started stretching its neck like this.
great egret
But it didn’t care about me, it just continued preening itself.
great egret
The next question is – how long will it stay?

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