AN INVASION of rare water birds in the south of England has spread to this borough.
The cattle egrets, which are usually found in America and the tropics, first arrived in Devon and Cornwall in November last year.
Bird expert Derwent May, writing in The Times, said: “The invasion of cattle egrets to the south of England has continued since then and they have started spreading out.”
This month they have been spotted in marshy spots in Neston and East Sussex, as well as in Counties Cork and Donegal in Ireland.
The cattle egret is a small white heron about 19-21in long, with a wingspan of about 3ft. It often looks like it is hunched over. It has short legs and a thick neck.
They breed from California east to the Great Lakes and Maine and south to the Gulf Coast, and are also found in the tropics, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa.
The cattle egret, which can most often be spotted near farmland and in wetlands, is a very social bird and likes to gather in large colonies.
In addition to following livestock, they also follow farm equipment like tractors to catch insects.