I went out without my pager yesterday. When I got home, I read that there was a Cattle Egret at Sea Palling, unreported for a week.
After morning chores we drove the short distance to Hickling Lane which is west off the Stalham Road, shortly before Sea Palling village. More than a mile down the lane, we rounded a bend and spotted the lovely Park cattle in a field on the left. A group of them were feeding from a hay rack towards the back of the field, a white blob visible between the legs. It was the Cattle Egret. It continued to feed avidly the whole time we were there, finding lots of deliciousness amongst the trampled mud and manure. It did have to be alert in order to dodge swinging heads and legs.
The cattle are so beautiful - if dirty - the bird small and distant, I concentrated on photographing the cows, with the Cattle Egret as an additional extra.
White Park Cattle
Good Looks, Distinguished History, Future Potential
White Park is a very old breed of beef cattle, kept in Britain for more than 2,000 years but which is now rare. They are closely descended from Britain’s original wild white cattle that were enclosed in parks by the nobility during the middle ages. By the end of the 19th century such parks had largely gone out of fashion and the breed struggled to survive.
In 1973 the Rare Breeds Survival Trust was formed and chose the White Park as its logo. From around 60 animals left in the breed at that time the numbers have increased and there are now more than 750 adult breeding cows. The breed is classed as “Minority” by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.
The White Park is distinguished in looks – large white animals with black points on their muzzle, ears, eye-rims and feet. The elegant wide-spreading horns are usually black-tipped. The cows are noted for ease of calving, milkiness and high fertility, while bulls used as crossing sires confer ease of calving and exceptional hybrid vigour. Excellent foraging ability, hardiness and longevity are also notable. The cows breed until they are typically 12 to 16 years old, although some breed up to more than 20 years of age.