Tuesday, 30 April 2013

What A GREAT Day! - 29.4.13

The day got off to a normal feel with a Cormorant flying south along the canal but just after 10am myself and my boss were cutting the grass in the overflow car park. He was on the ride on mower and I was strimming and as he was running up along the fence line I stopped to move out of his way and when I looked up to my amazement there were 2 huge heron sized pure white egrets flying low south between the car park and the river. They were Great White Egrets!! They were just above tree top height and were very close to each other with the top one even pecking the lower one at one stage. They both had large yellow/orange bills and long dark trailing legs and were on view for around 30 seconds before they were lost to view behind the trees in the car park. Frustratingly they ignored the water in the park and headed off south but of course they could have already been in the flooded areas and I only saw them leave. These of course were the first record for the park and hopefully when accepted by the Herts bird club they will be the first multiple sighting in the county. After all that excitement the only other bird of note was a Sparrowhawk over the nature reserve.

After work I headed up to Wilstone Reservoir and walked round to the hide where a Wood Warbler had been singing on and off all day. After about 20 minutes I finally heard it and it carried on and off for another 20 minutes but annoyingly it didn't show. From the hide 50+ Swift and over 100 Swallow were overhead and in the scrub by the hide a female Reed Bunting was seen and a Whitethroat heard. News then came on the pager of a Blue-Headed Wagtail over at Startops End Reservoir so I shot over but despite at least 10 Yellow Wagtails I couldn't find it. I did however find a nice male White Wagtail in the paddocks and in the canal hedge 2 Lesser Whitethroat. On the res itself a Black Tern was with an Arctic Tern and 30 or so Common. A Kingfisher flew along the canal and a female Red-Crested Pochard was by the layby steps. More Swallows and Swifts were overhead with some Swallows and the odd Sand Martin resting on top of the horsepats! Pretty good day all round!

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