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Friday, 1 February 2013

Cattle Egret-( for many a) County First

The News of a Cattle Egret having been found on Holy Island came out mid morning on Sat 26th but by now the causeway would be flooded , but the foot note was that the bird had been present for 3-4 days, I could have dashed up on the Sunday but had little time to spend there so I thought I would take a chance and go for the full day later in the week . So Wed 30th saw me crossing the causeway about 8-15 it was a bright day for a change but the wind was going to be a severe problem, on the way down the crooked lonnen I was told the bird was showing out on the grass  but within the two minutes to get there it had disappeared  but a large Sparrowhawk lifted from the garden ,it took about 1/2 hour to finally relocate it on the west side ,you could get an occasional glimpse  as it passed along on the other side of the fence, apparently this was the sort of view most had seen on Sunday . So That looked like that was it , was that going to be my best view for the day, heading off down to look over the sea as much to get out of the wind as anything a Brent Goose fed in the corner of a field not far off , but the sea as expected held little of interest , another look back at the garden  there was a narrow strip you could see down I picked out a bird dead on the grass  it was definitely white  with white underwing which you could see as it blew in the wind , gull was the first thought but no , was it the cattle Egret it looked to small but size can be deceiving at a distance , I pointed it out to a couple of other birders but we could not decide what it was , so I went down to retrieve it  ,because if it was the CE  we would know its fate had the Sparrowhawk returned and tried to have a go at it ,seemed unlikely , it turned out to be a Barn Owl without any visible injury the corpse loose ,I cant' remember is it rigor mortis then looseness or the reverse , anyway as we were disscussing it's fate the CE was back out on the grass and finally good views achieved, rattled off loads of shots holding the tripod with one hand as it kept tipping over in the wind and the camera the other ,very surprised and pleased with what I got given the circumstances . A Redwing dropped in beside it seeming to be confused with this large white bird ,it followed it around to be joined by a Fieldfare which picked up an earthworm , suddenly it spooked and flew off back into the garden .
I headed down to the Heugh to look over the harbour and channel conditions terrible managed to pick out 1 Slavonian and 2 Long tailed but just gave up heading back to the car and drove down to Fenham Low Moor to catch the high tide.  

Crossing the causeway the day looked promising
Eventually some decent views 
 started to relax with some active feeding

 Here with Fieldfare and Redwing, there was some definite interaction here the Fieldfare pulling out an Earthworm ,the Redwing especially seemed to follow the CE around

 At last some good views it will now probably stay for some time or perhaps head further South into the County nice "patch" tick for somebody  !!!!!!!

" I wonder if I can get that down my neck "


Johnnykinson said...

Unfortunately i have been far too busy since moving in on Saturday Brian but you have managed to capture the best images i've seen of the bird so far, especially with the others in attendance. It's been like moving into a new house here, much more to do than i had expected. Not even time to pop up to the Rising Sun for a bit of Bittern!!
We are away down to Kent tomorrow to my sons place for the missuses birthday so whether i get to see it on N/land is a doubt. On the upside i might get to see something special doon sooth.
Catch up with y later sir.

Northumbrian Birding said...

Cheers John ,Glad your finally getting sorted I can't imagine the hassle you's have been through.