Posted by: Ross Gardner | November 28, 2012


In the space of 20-odd years the Little Egret has become a common sight around many of the British coasts, the result of a steady natural colonisation of North-western Europe.  I saw my first one in Norfolk back in the early 1990s, still a ‘rarity’ back then and one that I was thrilled to see.  They now breed in many parts of their British range.  Largely in Southern England, but increasingly further north.  The RSPB has their breeding population at around 150 pairs.  More than 4000 are thought to winter.

A rarity they can no longer be called, but they are still a fine sight.  Whiter than white stalking beneath the winter-grey skies and amidst the reassuring bleakness of the wind-swept estuary.  A bird that can’t quite shake off that air of the exotic, however frequent they become.

Here’s a picture and an excerpt of a longer poem called ‘Egret’

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta). Copyright 2012 Ross Gardner.

Imagine the mullet’s eye view –

The small fry darting in the shallows.

The suggestion of shapes fragmented:

A gull overhead, an oystercatcher at the water’s edge…?

Then sharply and suddenly concentrated

Into the deliverance of the dagger strike.

 © 2012 Ross Gardner


  1. a beautiful but sharp and slightly sinister looking bird!

    The poem is great too. I’ll follow you.

    There are quite a few nature related poems at my blog too, have a read if you are looking to pass 10 minutes!

    • Thanks Ocksblog. I did just have a quick look at your work. I’ll have a better look through later. Particularly liked the ‘On a disused city church’ and the haiku/senryu.

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