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Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Great White Egret-Woodchat Shrike

Monday I thought it time I went to see the Great White Egret which now seems settled at Druridge Pools ,first stop was the Lynemouth flash only one bird on there but that was a Wood Sandpiper I got a couple of shots just before a horse waded through and flushed it over the water works area, I looked again on the way home but no sign single Dunlin. Cresswell I only checked out the north end and the fields around the causeway with nothing so I headed to Druridge at the screen a guy said it was not on view from there but I looked anyway and sure enough there it was but only for a few minutes just enough time for someone else to see it before it flew north a couple of Whimbrel here also and more could be seen further over at least 30. I scanned the area with the scope hoping for Garganey not caught up with any yet. A walk to the main pool with no sign of the Egret so checked out the Oddie hide with a guy from further south , 7 or so Black Tailed Godwits in very near Summer plumage ,Whimbrel seemed to be all over several bathing in the small pool to the west and others overhead  also a Yellow Wagtail bathing with Meadow Pipit , Reed Bunting , Linnet all using a pool created from a leaking cattle trough. The guy was leaving for home but within 1/2 a second was back saying the Egret was on the main pool which could be seen from the Oddie entrance . So we got settled in the main hide with the odd Swallow popping in through the open shutters to add to their nests , we watched the Egret as  it walked along the north shore and more Whimbrel could be seen dropping in to a field . The Egret lifted a couple of times and was flushed by a Heron it eventually sat on a rock which is where I left . Sitting in the car having a coffee I had checked for any bird news and was debating to go to East Chevington, when a text of Woodchat Shrike near Druridge Pools ? I was puzzled not any birders around I headed back to the screen to check the area with a scope and soon others arrived equally puzzled as to where the bird was located , was this a wind up or mistaken ID, after clarification we headed out and up the road towards Hemscott farm and sure enough the birders and cars at the roadside soon gave us the location , the bird a cracking male was feeding from the fence line dropping onto the grass and also flycatching ,probably getting shelter from the  hedge as it was by now a cold wind   ,rather distant and given that the hedge did not come this far up no chance of it getting any nearer,but also easy to see and drew a steady crowd another 2 Yellow Wagtails as well , turned out to be a cracking day considering I had not gone far !.

 Lynemouth Flash
 Whimbrel Druridge Pools

 Whimbrel Druridge Pools
 Egret re-locates
 Swallow bill covered in mud
 This Lapwing bathing in front  of the hide , I especially like this shot with that look of distain,  another photographer must have took 30 or so shots of this ,,camera going off like a machine gun, that's some processing
 Egret settles on a large rock across from the hide
And finally a very poor shot of the Woodchat Shrike ,it's the small blob on the right , although there where some half decent shots obtained later.

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