Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Egret watch

Tuesday 1st December 2009
Started the day at Hams Hall. Checking out the river and the various pathways. Two Green Sandpipers on the river but no sign of the Common Sand. At least 3 pairs of Bullfinch were in the area along with Green and Great spotted Woodpecker but no sign of Chiffchaffs or crests. As with last week Coton was relatively quiet. It was too cold to stay in any one place too long and I planned my morning around never being too far away from a hot drink at the Cedars Cafe. The afternoon was spent walking up to Fishers Mill area. Having said earlier in the year how few Linnets there seemed to be around it was good to see a decent flock in trees at Fisher's Mill bridge. The next species to undergo my scrutiny is Reed Bunting. Have they had a bad breeding season? I just dont seem to be seeing them in the usual places. I was just about to make my way back to the Water Park when I got a message that Steve Haynes had 7 Little Egrets on Swann pool at the Southern end of the Water Park, this was quickly followed by a second message that there was a Little Egret on the North pit. Steve thought it would be a good opportunity to assess the total number of Egrets in the Tame valley at the moment. I decided to go back and cover, as far as possible, the middle pools and channels between Fishers Mill and the North pit at Drayton Bassett. I'd already done the main pools at the North end of the Water Park.
After my extended walk I only saw 1 Little Egret, flying in to Fisher's Mill pool from the North end. It was probably the same bird reported earlier. So we had a pretty good idea that there are at least 8 Little Egrets in the Tame valley at the moment.
There was no sign of any Owl activity in the area by late afternoon and with the temperature dropping and the wind getting up I headed for the hides at Cliff pool. Again no sign of Owls so I walked to Richard's meadow but again no luck. My the time I got back to the car it was quite dark but the silouette of an Owl over the car park was distinctive.

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