Monday, 10 December 2012

Great White Egret

The forecast for today was perfect, clear blue skies and light winds. So an early start heading west towards Ringwood to find the Great White Egret that has spent several months at Bickerley Common. I parked at the old railway line car park at the Verwood turn off, leaving a short walk over the main river and past several flooded fields. I arrived at the bridge over the Bickerley stream and in the early light had great views of the GWE  at about 100 yards distant. Slowly the bird closed to within 50 yards and the with the sun rising in a clear sky,  I gained some reasonable shots. A Grey Wagtail perched on the railings  just a few yards away, asking to be photographed - duly captured. Having got the GWE shots I scanned the floods and found the reported Glossy Ibis - very distant though, not even a decent record shot.


I arrived rather early

Displaying rings but not readable

Feeling very pleased with myself I decided to head up into the forest north of the A31, turning right at Blashford, and doing my best to ignore the pits I made my way to Cadnam Pond,which was, of course, devoid of birds. Out on the grass there were plenty of thrushes both Song and Mistle intermingled with Fieldfares. On to another location to check for reported Goosanders but unfortunately they had gone. However, Marsh Tits abounded and some of them were very obliging.


The next part of the plan was to be Walpole Park in Gosport to find Waldo the faithful returning Ring billed Gull, as I passed the Eastleigh junction of the M27 I remembered that there had been a report of a red top Goosander at the Lakeview Country Park and as this venue often throws up a Hawfinch it was a quick detour. As soon as I arrived I found the Goosander on Beach Lake and managed to record a few good shots, of the Hawfinch there was not a feather to be seen. So I returned home early, very satisfied with the results of half a day birding.

Hardy souls

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