Saturday, 22 December 2012

A Great Big Welcome Home (21st December)

Since there wasn't a lot around in the home county at the time, my brother and I decided to go and look for the Great White Egret just over the border into Bucks.  It took a five mile bike ride but we soon arrived and it only took my brother a few minutes to locate the GREAT WHITE EGRET on the River Chess.  From the bend in the road we had rather poor views of the bird but we decided to relocate ourselves to the footpath to the north of the river where we obtained much better views, thanks in part to someone walking along the bank of the river and flushing the bird upstream.  It came some distance upstream towards the bridge but not close enough for the amazing photos that my brother hoped to get.  None the less we still had good views as it hunted in the shallows.

 Great White Egret on the smaller stream near Mill Farm

Thanks to some good views, you can really appreciate the size difference

 Water Rail

Later seen in the dry meadows gliding low over the weeds like a giant Barn Owl

We decided to wander down stream towards the cress beds where I found 9 Siskin feeding in the alders and a Water Rail on the river bank.  I was really hoping for a Water Pipit at the cress beds but I had partial compensation in my disappointment by catching a brief glimpse of a Green Sandpiper which flew from the beds downstream, landing just out of sight unfortunately.  From here, we headed back bumped into Lee, had a brief chat and were on our way back again.  It would have been nice to see the egret cross the border into Herts, only about 200 meters downstream but that will have to be a task for another day.

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