Cattle Egrets occur on every continent except Antarctica. In Europe they were originally native only to Iberia but since 1970 they have been spreading north through France.
    They arrived initially in Britain only as vagrants. In 2007 there was an unprecedent influx of at least 90 Cattle Egrets to Britain, a total that nearly doubled in 2008 when they were also recorded breeding for the first time. Bird Atlas 2007-2011 reported confirmed breeding from two sites in Somerset and possible breeding from sites in Gloucestershire, Dorset and Sussex.
    In Wiltshire the first records were of one on a farm near Firsdown in November 2004 and two that remained at Britford from late December 2005 to the end of March 2006. There were a further 13 records of Cattle Egrets between 2006 and 2017 but no records of breeding.

The following references are used throughout these species accounts, in the abbreviated form given in quotation marks:
1968-72 Breeding Atlas” – Sharrack, J.T.R. 1976:  The Atlas of Breeding Birds in Britain and Ireland. T. & A. Poyser
“1981-84 Winter Atlas” – Lack, P.C. 1986:  The Atlas of Wintering Birds in Britain and Ireland. T. & A. Poyser
“1988-91 Breeding Atlas” – Gibbons, D.W., Reid, J.B. & Chapman, R.A. 1993: The New Atlas of Breeding Birds in Britain and Ireland 1988-91. T. & A. Poyser
“Birds of Wiltshire” – Ferguson-Lees, I.J. et al. 2007 : Birds of Wiltshire, published by the tetrad atlas group of the Wiltshire Ornithological Society after mapping fieldwork 1995-2000. Wiltshire Ornithological Society.
Bird Atlas 2007-2011” – Balmer, D.E., Gillings, S., Caffrey, B.J., Swann, R.L., Downie, I.S. and Fuller, R.J. 2013: Bird Atlas 2007-2011: the Breeding and Wintering Birds of Britain and Ireland
“WTA2” – ("Wiltshire Tetrad Atlas 2 ") the present electronic publication, bringing together the Wiltshire data from “Birds of Wiltshire” and “Bird Atlas 2007-11”, together with data from further fieldwork carried out in 2011 and 2012.
"Hobby" - the annual bird report of the Wiltshire Ornithological Society.