This summer and autumn 2 colour ringed Little Egrets were seen in the area. The first one was ringed in Kent in 2003 and not seen until it appeared in the North West. This equally the longevity for a British ringed Little Egret.
Shortly afterwards another bird (Green F, Yellow T) was seen at Leighton Moss between August and October 2009. This bird was ringed in Gwent in 2008 and represents the second colour ringed Little Egret for the area.
Slightly further south on the Ribble Estuary a 3rd colour ringed bird appeared in October which was ringed near Bangor in June 2009 as a chick.
All these sightings show a Northerly movement of Little Egret however interestingly these are of birds that are 6, 2 and 1 year old. For most species rapidly expanding their range it can be expected that the major movement is in the first year with them settling in an area within the first winter. As Leighton Moss is so well watched I very much doubt these birds have been around locally in any previous autumn/winter.
Many thanks to the Richard Hearn for the details of these birds.