VIDEO: Amazing bird feeding technique spotted on River Adur
Clever little egrets at Adur Estuary Nature Reserve have learned a new trick - and attracted the attention of the BBC.
Jess Aidley, volunteer warden at the RSPB reserve in Shoreham, captured the birds on film and her video will be shown on Winterwatch tonight on BBC Two at 8pm.
Jess said: "None of us who spend time looking at birds on the reserve have seen this behaviour before November of last year.
"It seems as though one adult bird learned to do it and then a youngster copied the behaviour.
"I have been told that cormorants fish co-operatively, rather like some species of whales and dolphins, and I have seen video of other species of egrets doing this with other birds in other countries, so it was interesting to observe it here."
In her video, the little egrets are seen deliberately following cormorants when they are fishing in the River Adur and then catching fish disturbed by cormorants.
They find diving cormorants and follow them, then feed on fish they disturb.
Jess added: "The BBC Winterwatch programme contacted me yesterday afternoon to ask if they could use some video I took of the little egrets and cormorants on the RSPB Adur bird reserve. It's going to be in tonight's programme.
"It might help to raise people's awareness that we do have our very own RSPB Reserve in the heart of Shoreham."