Wednesday, 22 October 2014


The great white egret made a brief stopover along the north side of the Island on Wednesday 22nd. Having first been seen by Martin Cock as it landed from the east onto the Maydays saltmarsh mid afternoon, it was seen a short while later by Andy Field who managed to take this photo as it flew towards the Strood. The longer legs are obvious in the picture while the yellow bill can just about be made out. The bird made two or three short flights and then wasn't seen again.

I joined the search for the last hour of daylight from the Strood end of the Pyefleet Channel hoping to see it in the creek or in flight over the saltmarsh, but with no luck. There were plenty of little egrets with 16 seen in one group, some pictured above feeding in the creek as the tide receded.
However there was some consolation in me missing out on the great white egret........

Scanning the distant horizon over towards the Langenhoe ranges for anything flying, there was a large bird of prey hovering over the ranges with big pronounced wing-beats. Through the telescope the bird banked to the side and the white upper tail could be seen which suggested a rough-legged buzzard. The bird seemed to be spending a lot of time hovering, being mobbed by marsh harriers, it changed locations a few times and continued to hover. The pale underwing seemed reminiscent of a short-eared owl but with the distinct black carpal patches.

Martin and Andy who had only just got back to the warmth of their homes, came scurrying back out again before the light faded. After a while they managed to relocate the bird further to the east on the ranges still hovering.
A rough-legged buzzard was reported on the Langenhoe ranges just two days earlier on the Monday.

Other birds noted on this remotest corner of the Island were 5+ marsh harriers, sparrowhawk, kingfisher, greenshank, rock pipit and a stonechat. Andy found a ring ouzel along one of the hedges near the seawall north of Bower Hall and also a wheatear.

No comments: