Well, you never know what's going to show up in your backyard. While birding in Alberta I got a phone call from my son Ben. He had a white egret/heron feeding along the Carp River. He described the bird to me, it was white with black legs and what looked like a blue bill. I said, immature Little Blue Heron. Next thing, Ben says it has yellow feet. There is a pause. I ask him, does it have two long white plumes, answer, yes. OMG, its a LITTLE EGRET. Pause. Ben are you still there? Yes Dad. Are you sure it has two plumes.Yep. OK. Likely a Little Egret. I'll make a few calls, you take pictures and wait there and watch it. I phoned Mike Tate and texted Bruce Mactavish in Newfoundland. I haven't seen many LITTLE EGRETS and knew Bruce M. has seen a few in Newfoundland over the years and one recently. After reviewing the photos he felt it was likely one.
By then Mike Tate had arrived and Ben and Mike studied the egret. All agreed. This is the first record for Ontario and a species that has been talked about over the past couple of years since one occurred in Montreal a few years ago. This is the same location Ben found the first record of White-faced Ibis for the Ottawa-Gatineau district on July 4,2011. Awesome find son!
Directions: If you are coming from southern Ontario take Hwy 401 east to Hwy 416 and north to Hwy 417 and go west to the Carp Road exit. Turn right (north) and follow the Carp Road towards Carp. After crossing March Road (traffic lights) continue on and you will have farm land on both sides of the road. Watch for the small bridge and take the first right, Rivington Street. Follow to end of street. View the Carp River from road.
Little Egret at Carp, Ontario
The Little Egret is a casual visitor to North America from Europe. The closest record to Ontario was an individual near Montreal in July 2012.