Sunday, 3 January 2010

Great Whites

Today I decided to go out of county, to twitch 2 Great White Egrets that had been at Pitsford Reservoir in neighbouring Northants.
Many layers were needed as it was absolutely freezing.
I arrived at first light and parked on the side of the causeway. The first bird I was aware of was a Redshank, that I disturbed as I got out of the car -this was one of six seen today.
Scanning across the water there were masses of waterfowl including Mallard, Wigeon, Gadwall, Teal, Tufteds, Coots, Cormorants, Great crested and Little Grebes, several Goldeneye and a presumed escape 'blue phase' Snow Goose that was swimming with the Canadas.
Looking across to the other side of the water both Great Egrets were easily picked up fishing in the shallows amongst the tree roots. They were about 400 yards apart but they did fly around quite a bit and at one point they were almost together.
Also over the far side I managed to pick out 3 smart male Red-crested Pochards.
Walking down the causeway I located what I consider to be the best birds of the day 5 Smew - 3 redhead females and 2 cracking males.
Over on the south side of the reservoir where I decided to go for a walk part way around, best birds seen were several Meadow Pipits, 11 Dunlin and a Stonechat.
On the way back home 2 Buzzards were seen and a flock of around 30 Golden Plover flew over the road near Warrington, to land in a field with 50 others that were already there.

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