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Wilstone Reservoir Great White Egret

View from Wilstone reservoir hide
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

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.