Wilstone Reservoir Great White Egret

View from Wilstone reservoir hide
View from Wilstone reservoir hide
Great White Egret at Wilstone
Great White Egret at Wilstone

All week there has been a Great White Egret present at Wilstone Reservoir, I woke up to clear blue skies and a slight breeze, so no excuse to not get down there and join the twitch. It is fairly rare to get one in Hertfordshire, although there is another one at another site presently. I have seen a few mainly at Minsmere in Suffolk, I would describe them as a pure white Heron with or a large Little Egret with orange/yellow beak.

The car park was full but someone was leaving as I arrived, I parked up and wandered round to the hide. The hide was empty bar two people, both with cameras. I enquired about the Egret, they said it was still present but out of site. I found a seat and settle in for a possible long wait.

Slowly the hide filled up. After a 40 minute wait the bird came into site on the edge of the reeds, as usual the sun was behind the bird so it would be record shots rather than decent pictures. Five minutes later it was hidden by reeds. It appeared again for 10 then flew off out of site.

Whilst waiting I scanned the whole area. Quite a few Martins still about, but did not spot any late Swifts, wildfowl included Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler, Mallard and Gadwall, of the waders I only saw Redshank. A few times Buzzards flew over at one point there were three in view. The usual Cormorants, Lapwings, and Mute Swans were about. A fax was spotted in the far corner, and a late Tern was a highlight.

Distant shot of Great White Egret
Distant shot of Great White Egret

The GWE reappeared perched right on top of a fallen dead Willow, the photo potential was great but it would have require a longer lens that is currently available! We were then treated to a long flight around the reservoir, they have a real strange way of looping around a more like a Little Egret than a Heron.

There was a teenage kid in the hide, obviously a very keen bird watcher, he was explaining to someone in the hide how he had come from Kings Langley, on the train with his bike, this allowed him to cycle along the canal from Tring station and take in College Lake, Startops Reservoir and Wilstone Reservoir all in one trip. Is he a Chris Packham in the making?

I had had enough by 12:00 so headed home for some lunch. Later on we are off to the Thame food fair then out for a meal in Thame with I&R.

Purple Heron Wilstone

View over Otmoor
View over Otmoor

Weather was still great so we thought we would have another trip out. After some discussion and a phone call to Hillside,  we eventually settled on Otmoor again as we felt we had not done it justice last week. We set out and got as far as the holiday in when we got a phone call and had to do a u-turn and go and pick up John, who preferred out trip to the other trip that was on offer, basically a day at Hughendon grounds sat in a blanket.

We went the usual way i.e. down the A41 then left at the Brill turn off, then cross country to Beckley where you turn off the main road to get to the reserve car park, where we were lucky enough to find a space. We decided to do the walk that skirts round the outside of the reserve. The countryside different to the Chilterns, very flat and open pastures basically a flood plane. The birds were really singing Whitethroats were everywhere, Helen could heard Grasshopper Warbler, and we saw the odd Reed Bunting. The walk round the reserve took about 2 and a half hours and as it was the middle is the day really hot. We wanted to stop for sandwiches but could not find a place in the shade until we got to the new hide.

Suitably refreshed we headed back to the car park, we heard Cuckoo and saw 4 Hobbies flying around our first this year, and a few Sedge Warblers doing their stuff in the reeds. Whilst we were walking back I checked my phone, would you believe it there was a Purple Heron at Wilstone Reservoir.

Wilstone to pick up a few ticks

Late afternoon and getting cold. Gulls flyinging by the 10’s to roost.

Tufted Duck, Common Cormorant, Common Coot, Great Crested Grebe, Common Gull, Common Teal, Wigeon, Shoveler, Mute Swan, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Grey Wagtail (13 YTD 43)

Wilstone

Kingfisher, Teal, Gadwall, BH Gull, Wigeon, Mallard, GC Gerbe, Lapwing, Coot, Mute Swan, Rook, Cormorant, Pochard.

Wilstone

< !DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 3.2//EN"> Wilstone

Scaup, Hobbies, Long tailed Tit, Kingfisher.

Ivinghoe, Steps Hill

< !DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 3.2//EN"> Ivinghoe, Steps Hill

Ring Ouzel, 3 Jays. Over at Wilstone the Snipe was close to the hide, Willow Warbler on island.