Aware of the pitfalls of Egretta gularis x garzetta hybrids, I watched this bird (see the attached images) at Essaouira, Morocco on 25th April 2009 and came away with friends thinking that it was probably a hybrid. However, subsequent research and correspondence with a couple of people makes me wonder (largely due to structure) why this isn't a 2nd calendar year Western Reef Egret? I've no idea what's going on with those purple lores though!
I've also attached a dark morph Western Reef Egret that I photographed at the Banc D'Arguin, Mauritania in December 2006. Any comments gratefully appreciated.
Thanks in advance.