Thursday 25 January 2018

Great White Egret redux

As was verging on inevitable after my expensive twitch I've now seen the Wanstead Great White Egret three times. This morning I discovered it again on a quick tour of the Park before work, fishing on the eastern end of the Perch Pond. As before it was very flighty and soon headed off towards the Ornamental Waters, although nobody is quite sure where it actually ends up as nobody has seen it there. I didn't have a camera as my mission was the mythical Grey Wagtail for the January record-busting year list, a bird that I just cannot seem to find anywhere. It seems odd to be disappointed with a Great White Egret, but that is the danger of counting things. I suppose also that GWE will eventually descend into the ranks of the ubiquitous, as Little Egret did before it. I know some highly ancient birders who can still wax lyrical about their first Little Egret, which seems absurd but that is how quickly things can change. It also happens the other way of course, and more frequently - look at Willow Tit, Snipe, Woodcock and countless other species that were once common and whose numbers have plunged in a matter of decades. 

Here is a photo from the second time I saw it - a dreary morning about a fortnight ago. The amount of disturbance around the Perch Pond was scarcely believable for 8am on a weekday morning so the images I returned with were of it flying around from pillar to post, a scenario repeated this morning and I suspect every morning that it is there.

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