Great White (the two larger birds towards the left) and Little Egrets, feeding in the mud and water of old peat workings on Westhay Moor, on the Somerset Levels.  (For info: egrets are in the heron family)

Climate change?  I started birding, not too far from where these pictures were taken, in 1967.  And, as a friend from those far off birding days says, if we had submitted records of such a gathering to the Somerset Ornithological Society in those days, we would have been treated with total derision, with doubts about our honesty / mental health probably being thrown in too.  In 1971, anxious to see a Little Egret, my first in the UK, I had to travel all the way to the far west of Pembrokeshire, in Wales, for the treat.  And the Great White Egret has changed its status from being a rarity in the UK late in the last century, to being quite common now.

So, is this climate change?  I don’t know, is the simple answer; although, equally simply, I do believe that climate change is taking place.  But, from my mapping of the ranges of Kenya’s bird species, I know that factors other than climate change can influence bird distribution.  What is certain though, as my old birding friend said on seeing these pictures, is that this is not the Somerset that we used to know, 50+ years ago.

And of course, although we are seeing dramatically increased number of these egrets, numbers of many, many other UK bird species have fallen dramatically over these 50+ years: climate change may have had an effect here, but intensive farming practices are probably a bigger culprit at the moment.

Other recent bird pictures are here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 .

Click onto each image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to further enlarge it – recommended.

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 12,800 ISO; jpegs produced by in-camera processing of raw files, using the Graphite profile; no further processing; Westhay Moor, on the Somerset Levels northwest of Glastonbury; 25 Oct 2019.



About Adrian Lewis
Photographer - using mono, colour and combinations of the two - many types of subject, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous, trying new ideas, working in multiple genres. And I've a weakness for Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.


  1. Mathias LK says:

    The birds form an arrow pointing left but the are all looking to the right! Great black&white and it sticks in the head.


  2. Meanderer says:

    That works really well; all that darkness punctuated by the brightness of the birds.

    Yes, strange events in Nature – important to note the changes. Woke up to news of floods in Yorkshire and fires in Australia this morning 😦


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Thanks, M. The surroundings weren’t really that dark (tho it was a dark day!) but became so when I reduced exposure for the blazing white egrets; and I like the great slope of clay debris behind them.

      Yes, Yorkshire and Australia; the latter in particular looks appalling – but at least they have military-style responses to such things. I think that much more use should be made of the army to help out in occurrences like Yorkshire, but it seems not to be a commonly used resource. A 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. paula graham says:

    They grouped themselves so nicely for you, Adrian and even a ‘full stop’ on the right!. Super pic.


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