Scientific: Ardea alba
Cymraeg: Crëyr Mawr Gwyn
An adult at Penclacwydd on 27th June was the first county record.
One at Penclacwydd on 30th September was the second county record; following quickly from 1 at this site in June 1995.
There were 2 records of single birds at Penclacwydd from 7th – 10th and 12th June and at Witchett Pool on 16th and 23rd September and from 1st – 8th October. These were the 3rd and 4th county records; the previous records were in 1995 and 1996. (subject BBRC).
The fifth county record of this magnificent species related to a relatively long-staying immature individual at Dinefwr Ponds, from 30th July to at least 18th August.
The fourth county record, involving one of a an estimated 42 individuals in Great Britain – according to the ‘Report on rare birds in Great Britain in 2003’ in British Birds – came from Dinefwr Ponds on 15 August (TF,iSt,MSt). It is considered to be identical to the one that appeared in Pembrokeshire in the same month, and was perhaps the bird that appeared at Penclacwydd on 25th September. The first accepted county record was in 1995, followed by one in 1996, and another in 2002. They tend to confirm the statement in the BB report referred to earlier that ‘… there is no doubt that Great White Egrets are on the increase in Britain…’.
By way of explanation for the phenomenon, there is a fluctuating breeding population in the Netherlands (1,314 breeding pairs in 2003) and a recently established one in North West France. The colour ringed birds seen in the UK in 2003 were from France.
[Two sightings from 2000, although listed in the bird report for the year, were apparently not submitted to the BBRC and so do not form part of the official record.]
Penclacwydd May 31st – October 17th
Penclacwydd March 19th – April 1st