Posts Tagged ‘Cattle Egret’

As I watched the rain splashing against the windows at home last Sunday morning, I casually looked at the BBC Weather news. It was sunny in the Southport area, so, I decided to have a look at the 6 Cattle Egrets that have been in the Birkdale area for some time. As there were no takers to accompany me I got my birding gear into the car and off I went. Within 10 miles of leaving home the rain stopped and it was really quite nice. As I reached the bird’s usual feeding area, the sun was shining, now to find the 6 Cattle Egrets. A couple of Little Egrets fooled me at first, but as I searched around an area of allotments 10 egrets could be seen quite a distance away. As I scoped the birds the 6 Cattle Egrets were picked out along with 4 Little Egrets. They were happily feeding and some of them seemed to be in some form of breeding plumage. Such a large concentration of this species I have never seen before in Great Britain. I watched the birds for about half an hour and set of back for home and as I got to 10 miles from home it began raining again.
Myself and Bob K decided to try to see the Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers in Moore N.R. near Warrington on Wednesday. The rain was still falling at a great pace as I picked Bob up around 9-30am. We reached Moore and began to explore the wooded area, plenty of Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Green Woodpecker but no “drumming” was heard and perhaps the rain was drowning it out? As we headed back to the car to dry out a bit, the rain finally stopped, so we went back to the area we had been searching before, still no joy, but the first Chiff- Chaff of the year was heard and along with a nest building pair of Lesser Redpoll it made it all worthwhile.
One of my many favourite nature reserves was next at RSPB Burton Marsh, the normal friendly staff told us were all the birds we wanted to see were located. Avocets, Ruffs, Spotted Redshanks and then to listen/see the Cettis Warbler what a place. A Little Gull had arrived last Saturday and was still on the mere and gave good views in amongst the small Black Headed Gull colony, who seemed to like chasing their smaller cousin away. At this stage I made a little boo-boo (not my normal type) but the heads of a couple of gulls were visible and I casually said, “Are those Kittiwakes over there?” A local sage replied with a comment of, “If a single Kittiwake was on here this hide would be full, those are Common Gulls”. Whoops by me, the birds were now seen in all their glory and the sage was quite correct! We had a look up at the “Hill Fort” area that looks out over Burton Point and most of the Dee Estuary with a Great White Egret the only highlight. As we walked back to the car it began to rain again, so we headed for home. This was a bit of a nightmare with 10 miles taking one hour on the M56, but it was rush hour!
Dave O.


A possible first for Britain in the shape of an Acadian Flycatcher at Dungeness in Kent had a few pulses racing. Bit too far to go on the day it was found, due to traffic, work etc. So, a trip overnight was planned. Bob K driving, myself, Andy from Leigh and Steve from Hucknall all arranged to go to try to catch up with this mega rare species. Leaving Milnrow at midnight and arriving at Dungeness around 6-45am, just as the sun was about to rise. About 50 others birders were assembled looking over the birds last known feeding area in a small garden in this strange landscape. It was cold at first but it soon warmed up but alas, no sign of the flycatcher! A Hobby then a Merlin were seen out early morning hunting. News that the bird had been (possibly) seen at 7-30am didn’t reach the pagers till 10-30am, so it was put down as a desperate twitcher`s mistake! We had a good search of the area but to no avail, it had gone. A Cattle Egret on the nearby RSPB Dungeness reserve was eventually seen along with 2 Great White Egrets and Little Egret all within 15 minutes (must be some kind of record??) The weather was lovely and sunny but, the previous night had been clear, so the bird had become a “one day job”. My theory was that any bird that’s name begins with an A at Dungeness should be left well alone, Audouin`s Gull etc. The journey home was a fairly difficult, I suppose it might have been better had we seen the bird though!
Dave O.