A Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) was spotted yesterday morning in Marlay Park. This member of the heron family is a native of southern Europe and most of Asia, but is extending its territory northwards, probably as a result of global warming. It is about 50 cm long and feeds on amphibians, fish and insects. Between May and July the female lays up to three eggs and both parents incubate the eggs and tend the young. Last year (2009) the most northerly breeding colony was at the Wetlands Trust centre at Castle Espie on the shores of Strangford Lough which was visited recently by Form I on their science trip.