Here, today's excitement was generated by a species that wouldn't cause much of a stir in Andalucia....a Cattle Egret! First spotted mid-morning in Twyford, a few miles down the road, there seemed a fair chance that it might drop in to our local lake at some time. After a morning dumping rubbish at the municipal tip in Reading (balanced by a nice sandwich and a pint of Brakspear's at the Green Man pub in Hurst!) I headed off on my shiny new bike for the 10-15min ride to the Dinton Pastures/Lavells Lake/Lea Farm gravel pit complex; such is the traffic around here that it would take a good 20min to drive and then there's nowhere to park.
Dinton was quiet, other than a few noisy Egyptian Goose, but at Lavell's there was a very handsome Greenshank plus 1 Shelduck, a Sedge Warbler in full song and a pair of Reed Bunting. Of note at Lea Farm there were 2 Red Kite, 1 Common Buzzard, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 pair of Great-crested Grebe, 6 Gadwall, 2 pairs of Common Tern (there were 16 birds yesterday making an incredible noise as they squabbled with each other and a couple of Black-headed Gulls), 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Little-ringed Plover, 3 Lapwing, 1 Oystercatcher, 1 Cuckoo, 4 Sand Martin, 4 House Martin, 3 Swallow and 1, presumed escaped, Bar-headed Goose. Just as I was thinking of leaving I spotted a distant egret, with only my binoculars (haven't worked out how to carry the 'scope on my bike yet!) I had to look very carefully but it was clearly a Cattle Egret, just the 10th record for the county of Berkshire and the 2nd for this site.
|Greenshank and Little Egret (a few days ago)|
|Cattle Egret (it was a long way off!)|