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Dark Egret from Spain

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Old Tuesday 28th January 2020, 15:31   #26
dantheman
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Originally Posted by andyadcock View Post
Not sure if the grey form is melanistic, melanism usually manifests as brown, the colour of melanin?
You may be right. Melanistic though are usually black (or maybe v. dark brown). Really melanistic birds are quite rare (eg I recall a Kestrel once here on BF?). Maybe if not a 'form', leucistic would be the right phrase, but if it is a 'relatively' common and usually stable pattern then down the form/morph ( ) route ...

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exactly. bill shape and nicely demarcated yellow feet with black legs, like in the OB here. i guess it's a (rare) dark form ( ) like western reef heron has one.
https://www.birdforum.net/showthread...ght=egret+vadu
I've never heard of a dark Litttle Egret in the UK (but I may not be that well-informed, and of course there isn't a large population here.) Maybe it's a more eastern/European or even a subspecies thing? Maybe a dark Little Egret in W Europe should always warrant closer scrutiny?
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Old Tuesday 28th January 2020, 17:35   #27
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Originally Posted by dantheman View Post
You may be right. Melanistic though are usually black (or maybe v. dark brown). Really melanistic birds are quite rare (eg I recall a Kestrel once here on BF?). Maybe if not a 'form', leucistic would be the right phrase, but if it is a 'relatively' common and usually stable pattern then down the form/morph ( ) route ...



I've never heard of a dark Litttle Egret in the UK (but I may not be that well-informed, and of course there isn't a large population here.) Maybe it's a more eastern/European or even a subspecies thing? Maybe a dark Little Egret in W Europe should always warrant closer scrutiny?
I hadn't realised they existed at all until fairly recently.
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Old Tuesday 28th January 2020, 22:17   #28
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Originally Posted by lou salomon View Post
1. dark little egret exists, i've seen one last year
Lou how did you come to the conclusion that it was a Little Egret and not "something else"?

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Maybe a dark Little Egret in W Europe should always warrant closer scrutiny?
Exactly what I think
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Old Wednesday 29th January 2020, 09:46   #29
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Some of the references from the Dutch Birding paper linked to below may be interesting:
https://www.researchgate.net/publica..._and_Sri_Lanka

The authors of the paper claim that "records of undoubted dark-plumaged Little Egrets are extremely uncommon".

See also http://www.yoavperlman.com/2018/09/d...tle-egret.html for some more thoughts on the subject.

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Old Wednesday 29th January 2020, 10:34   #30
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Gonšalo, of course you remember the similar bird which haunted the Tavira (Portugal) area for a few years (heard nothing of it recently...?). Maybe your bird in Spain, which isn't very far from Tavira at all, could be a relative? Genealogy is well beyond me but I couldn't help but remember the reports (some 20 years ago I think) from Coto Do˝ana of a WRE breeding in a Little Egret colony. Just a thought.
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Old Wednesday 29th January 2020, 12:46   #31
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Yes but very rare as far as I know.
My trusty old copy of The Birds of Britain and Europe by Heinzel, Fitter and Parslow, which I 'bought' with Embassy cigarette coupons in the 1970s (I gave them up I the 80s) shows Little Egrets with a Southern European range, with only a couple of pockets in France. It was classed by them then as an 'Annual' visitor to the UK.

The illustrations for the species show two phases, the white phase and what they call the black phase, with a comment next to the illustration saying that it is 'Rare'.

It distinguishes it from the following entry for the dark phase 'Reef Heron' by saying that the reef egret has a 'white chin and throat'. It says that the dark phase predominates in the reef herons in both eastern and western races.
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Old Saturday 22nd February 2020, 19:43   #32
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Gonšalo, of course you remember the similar bird which haunted the Tavira (Portugal) area for a few years (heard nothing of it recently...?). Maybe your bird in Spain, which isn't very far from Tavira at all, could be a relative? Genealogy is well beyond me but I couldn't help but remember the reports (some 20 years ago I think) from Coto Do˝ana of a WRE breeding in a Little Egret colony. Just a thought.
Yes Simon I do and based on pictures I have seen I think that this could be the same bird that used to be around Tavira.
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Old Saturday 22nd February 2020, 22:21   #33
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Just as a theoretical exercise - apart from that it's in Spain and not Australia - how would one say this is not a White-faced Heron?
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Old Sunday 23rd February 2020, 00:04   #34
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Just as a theoretical exercise - apart from that it's in Spain and not Australia - how would one say this is not a White-faced Heron?
I too wondered about that when I first saw the pics. Guess leg colour is the main thing (all pale / yellow for white-faced), but also extent of white on face, thickness of bill and general proportions
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Old Sunday 23rd February 2020, 12:32   #35
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Yes Simon I do and based on pictures I have seen I think that this could be the same bird that used to be around Tavira.
I photographed that Tavira bird in 2009 & 2010.

This was the 2010 sighting.
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