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Wednesday 10 May 2017, Wokingham, partly cloudy, light SE wind, 17C

I hear from Gaucin that the Honey Buzzards are in full flow heading north towards their breeding grounds.....

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

Greenshank and Little Egret (a few days ago)

Common Tern

Cattle Egret (it was a long way off!)

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