I left for this afternoons patch walk in slightly better conditions than I have been used to of late, it was still on the windy side, but there were at least some sunny spells to be had. It was during such a sunny spell that I reached the small holding, where there was quite a bit of bird activity, 8 CHAFFINCH and a similar number of GOLDFINCH were around the pear trees, 3 BULLFINCH were in a bordering garden hedge, and a flock of mixed Tits, including at least 11 LONG TAILED, 6 GREAT, and 4 BLUE with a lone TREECREEPER in tow, were moving through the area.
Just two MALLARDS and a calling GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER were in the wet woods, and nothing much more was seen right until I reached the lake area. Once again I was eager to see if anything new had turned up there, but as is so often the case I was to be disappointed, still, if I found something new on every trip to the lake I'd only get bored! I did see at least 25 Mallard, and a few MOORHEN - as usual. I thought I would have time for a trip to Migrant Alley this afternoon, but as i looked across the lake, and skywards, I could see a huge black shower cloud coming over, so I decided I would sit out the rain in one of the run down shacks that over look the lake. Within a few minutes blackness decended, the wind got up to gale force and heavy driving rain came crashing down. As I watched the rain bouncing of the lakes surface during the worst of the shower, I caught something from the corner of my eye, it dropped in from the storm, a heron, I thought, a white heron - no, a LITTLE EGRET! Thats how heavy the rain was, I could hardly make out the pure white bird as it struggled to make a landing in amongst the overhanging trees. I couldn't see it from where I was, but as the rain eased, I went round to a better vantage point, and got a photo of it, then as I tried to move a bit closer, the Egret took of and went on it's way again. What a bit of luck! To have such a scarce bird for my patch drop in to sit out a shower, and I happened to be in the right place at the right time - thats 63 for the November list now, just four more new species in the next five days will take the November record, unlikely, but I might just do it ?
The last Littel Egret I had on my patch was on july 12th, but I also recorded one on March 14th they were flyovers, but on April 19th, one alighted in the same overhanging trees at the lake as todays bird, maybe it is the same bird ?
Above and below: One of the Long Tailed Tits at the small holding