Saturday, 4 April 2015

Another year - another GREAT WHITE EGRET

Highlight for just four observers today was a GREAT WHITE EGRET that flew into WILSTONE RESERVOIR just before 0700 hours; it landed in the Drayton Bank heronry and spent 20 minutes or so preening and being hounded by Grey Herons before flying east and relocating to TRINGFORD. It landed in front of the hide there, feeding in the shallows, but flew off again at about 0800 hours when inadvertently flushed. It was not seen again.
Otherwise, just a big rise in hirundine numbers (44+ Sand Martin, 16 Swallow), a single Herring Gull through, the 4 EGYPTIAN GEESE still and an increase in Blackcap numbers; COLLEGE LAKE BBOWT held 5 Common Shelduck
At PITSFORD INDUSTRIAL ESTATE SCRAPES, David Bilcock and I photographed this returning pair of LITTLE RINGED PLOVERS...

The big news on WILSTONE was the arrival of an adult Bar-headed Goose - the first in over 15 years. Initially hanging out in the centre, it eventually joined the Greylags and showed well in the field behind the jetty. The 4 EGYPTIAN GEESE were still present too, while Ian Williams & I had a pair of COMMON SHELDUCK drop in briefly. Duck numbers were much depleted but did include 29 Shoveler, 10 Gadwall, 3 Wigeon, 22 Teal & 134 Tufted Duck, but Coot numbers were holding up at 256. Still 65 Black-headed Gulls too, and a migrating party of 14 Common Gulls. A single Lapwing flew west, while both Oystercatchers remain. A pair of Red-legged Partridges near the cressbed were new for me for the year, as was a singing BLACKCAP in East Wood. Common Chiffchaffs now numbered at least 6, with the East Wood male still, 3 in the orchard and singles in Hide Meadow and in trees behind the hide.

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