Those who arrived early this morning were rewarded with a Cattle Egret sheltering in a reedy ditch in the fenced-off compound surrounding the work buildings of a water treatment plant. It gave good views for about 25 minutes before flying over some trees towards a neighbouring farm. This bird was a UK lifer for all morning participants who saw it.
In all we saw over 40 species; morning highlights being: a male Peregrine, a pair of Redhead Smew, several Lesser Redpolls, Siskins, a pair of Mistle Thrush, an Egyptian Goose, a Treecreeper, and a flyover Grey Wagtail. A Merlin was reported at North Lagoon by a couple of guests in the same place where a Kestrel was seen in the afternoon.
The afternoon started with better light on the Redpolls, but no sign of the Cattle Egret. We went on to see the Egyptian Goose standing up to a pair of trespassing Greylags before it flew off north. The Egyptian Goose was a brand new bird for Thursday afternoon sessions. Again, we saw plenty of birds but the best were those near the Visitor Centre. The Redpolls were in the best light yet, including one pinkish male, and a couple of male Bullfinches. However, the climax was provided by the Cattle Egret, which had returned. It stayed just long enough for everyone to get a good look at it before it again flew in the same direction it had at 9.30 am. It's not often these days we get two new birds on a session, but today was one of those red letter days!
Cattle Egret - A Lifer for Almost All
Egyptian Goose Standing Ground with Greylags
Egyptian Goose Leaving WBP
Record Shot of Redhead Smew
Record Shot of a Pair of Redhead Smew
Yesterday, we went to an urban park & saw most of the usual suspects. The 4 Lesser Redpolls in one car park were new, as was a Fox leaving by the main gates at 9.40 am. The rest of the birds were pretty much as expected with just the Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Crested Grebe & Kingfisher letting the groups down.
Ring-necked parakeet (c) 2012 Aileen Urquhart
Goosanders (c) 2012 Aileen Urquhart
Coots - 'True Love'
Black-headed Gull [adult]
Black-headed Gull [1st winter] (c) 2012 Aileen Urquhart