Friday, 18 July 2014

Heavy, thundery downpours during the night gave way to some hot and very humid conditions this morning, but I was only out on my patch for ninety minutes, as I had arranged a trip to the reservoir at Bough Beech.

I spent the ninety minutes watching the sky from my seat at Migrant Alley, but very little was noted, a couple of BLACK HEADED GULLS, a single LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL and a group of 5 HERRING GULLS flew over in the strengthening NE wind. A SPARROWHAWK drifted over as well, plus a single KESTREL hovered over the Greenhouse Grounds, the call of a LITTLE OWL was heard coming from the nearby Greenhouse Copse. A few SWIFTS were up high with the local SWALLOWS, a GREY HERON slowly flapped its way north, but that was about it for the sky watch.

I was at the Reservoir by 10:30hrs, where half a dozen people were already on the causeway, they soon pointed out the Great White Egret that was on the far side of the small lake, too far away for photo's though. I was in no hurry, and thought I'd wait for the GWE to come nearer, in the meantime I snapped a few images of a Grey heron and Lapwing that were just about in camera distance.

Grey Heron

Grey Heron


After an hour the GWE had made its way some 30 meters round the lake edge, nearer, but still too far off for a photo, the sun was beating down now and most people had left the causeway to escape the sweltering heat, just me and one other person stayed. We watched the Common and Green Sandpipers, not forgetting also to scan the lakeside vegetation for the Night Heron that had been seen here, but I reckon that was well in cover in the hot conditions. My comrade soon made his way off the causway, he too was suffering from the heat, but I stuck at it for another half hour. I was to be a bit disappointed though, the Egret decided it was time to leave! It flew off towards the visitors center, and the only photo I got was a distant record shot  :-(

Great White it goes  :-(

I too was wilting under the hot sun by now and decided to get some shade over at the visitors center, happy that I had got at least a record shot of the GWE. However, my luck turned, for as I reached the car park of the visitors center, I looked over at the small adjacent flood, only to see the GWE was there! 

I stealthily made my way round to the hide that overlooks the pool and found it totally empty, not surprising as it must have been over 40c in there! So there I was, the hide to myself, looking at a Great White Egret just 20 meters away with the pool to itself - my luck had turned for sure, I set up my camera to the best guess settings, photographing White birds in glaring sunshine is never easy and needs a bit of tinkering with the equipment, I thought I was going to fill my boots with cracking images of the Egret, but I took just two shots, then someone slammed a car door over in the car park - off went the Egret........BUGGER IT!!!!!  The shots were worth keeping though, and I got a half decent flight shot as it left   :-)

Great White Egret

Great White Egret

................and off it goes, my luck turned again!


Phil said...

Well done Warren. Super shots of a super bird!

Warren Baker said...

Cheers Phil,
That was hot work today!

Marc Heath said...

Well done matey, some stonkers there today.

Warren Baker said...

Ta Marc,
Would love to have got the chance of those photo's in the Dawn light!

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Glad you caught up with the GWE , one of 3 which seem to be on site .
I was lucky to get one just over the hedge on the North Lake .

Warren Baker said...

I only saw the one Greenie, very nice birds indeed ;-)