Thursday 18 January 2024

Great White Egret

It has been a very nice and relaxed start to the patch year, made even better by being in The Gambia for a week and seeing far better birds than are available locally. More to come on that later, probably a lot later as I'm still stuck somewhere around July 2023 on that front. Maybe I'll just skip ahead a little? 

Anyway, the usual jam has occured and not only did I manage to see Waterthrush in Essex, but back in Wanstead I also scraped the Ferruginous Duck which turned out to be a one day wonder. I also picked out the Med Gull on Jubilee on a short afternoon thrash after the twitch to Essex, and as I mentioned briefly in that post also had the good fortune to be standing around chatting to Nick when a Great White Egret flew over us and appeared to descend. We hoofed it over there to discover it had indeed landed - a rare sight indeed. It was of course extremely short-lived, and two of the innumerable off-lead dogs that occupy the patch every minute of every day caused it to fly off. I didn't have my camera, but had the presence of mind to whip out my phone and video it as it flew right past us. I've just worked out how to post this so here it is.

In other news whilst looking for the Ferruginous Duck yesterday I also saw the Water Rail on Jubilee, presumably the same bird I found in late November last year. As the pond is now almost entirely iced over it showed very well, and in keeping with my relaxed approach to patch birding this year this was just my 51st species of 2024. Slow and steady wins the race or whatever the phrase is, and there are still plenty of things I've yet to see that will gradually eke my total upwards. Such gems as Little Grebe for instance, and Blackbird..... It has always been a life goal of mine to see GWE and Ferruginous Duck on the patch before Blackbird so I'm very pleased to have finally managed it.

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