Saturday, 16 January 2016
Jumpy Goosander and Elusive Egret
On Saturday 16th January, a look first thing down on a very cold Oulton Broad, I saw the eclipse/ 1st winter redhead male Goosander swimming amongst the side arm of the broad by the boats just south of the causeway, I knew I could get some good shots of it keeping out of sight of the bird but unfortunately I hadn't reckoned on a dog sat on top of one of the boats which as I crawled closer barked loudly making me jump out of my skin (I didn't know it was there) and its barking flushed the Goosander (frustrating!) that flew out to the Broad so I had to be content with mid range shots as it fished amongst the Gulls. Walking around to Mutford Lock I searched high and low for a Common Sand but couldn't see one. However, a Kingfisher flew close in and even perched very close to me on the mooring ropes of the "Southern Belle" cruise ship (which had clearly seen better days!) albeit in very poor light, so pics aren't very good. By 10.30am I had travelled down to Sandy Lane at Iken, where I had just missed the Egret there that had been showing well in a field by a farm before a well known birder had unintentionally flushed it. In the 4 hours it took before it reappeared, I managed to see 2 Mistle Thrushes in a horse field and also take pictures of a feeding flock of c15 Curlews in a water logged grassy field close to the road. having teamed up with Dick, we had been scanning both ends of a cattle field, I walked down to rejoin Dick who had seen a distant Little Egret in a grassy field beyond some trees but a second Egret right of it was the excellent Cattle Egret, Dick did really well to get onto it and we saw its yellow bill clearly and the white gape jowel also seen, sadly it walked off left and then right and then out of view. Slightly later we then saw it fly to the edge of the cattle field the part I had been checking earlier. Dick and I saw it just beyond the Cattle and just beyond a wire fence in a field behind at mid distance. We retrieved our respective cameras and Dick fired off 2 shots and got good record shots, I didn't get any pics as a woman with bright blue coat pushed past and despite being requested not to get too close instantly flushed the bird (yet again frustrating!) that then flew off high and back to the distant fields which were out of view.