Saturday, 29 March 2008

Meare Heath - Great White Egret

The journey south continued, just as I was crossing the Severn, Andy Latham phoned to confirm it had already been seen that day so, the hunt was on! If you go to Meare Heath, take directions, it can be a bugger to find. The area is a sort of 'Whixall Moss with reedbeds' - a fantastic habitat nevertheless!

After driving past it once, I found the car park and headed up the track to the pools. Birders returning confirmed I was hopefully not going to be disappointed, and I wasn't! The Egret was out in the open, about 100m or more distant but this is one big bird - not to be missed!!

The Giraffe of the bird world?

Of course, without a reference feature, it is difficult to guage size so, enter a very obliging Little Egret which had a habit of following the big guy around and apart from a brief squabble, provided the perfect foil for showing just how majestic and 'Great', this Egret truly is!!

Sadly, my luck with birds and the weather then took a downward turn! Andy phoned (Hmm, do I need a pager?) to say the Franklin's Gull was back at Chew Valley Reservoir! Like a fool, I ended up heading back up the road and fortunately the comfort and shelter of Moreton hide. After an hour of watching the wind blown surf with a couple of local birders, there were only three Little Gulls (one adult!) to show for our efforts. Mind you, I don't know when I've seen so many hirundines, mostly Sand Martins but with the odd swallow and a first House Martin for the year thrown in!! With weather like this, bet they wished they'd stayed where they were.....

What an end to the week, just three sessions, eleven year ticks, four of them lifers - brilliant stuff! Oh and I'm not going back for that Franklin's - ever!