Yesterday, Wednesday, about 14:45 I was walking along the footpath from Aldcliffe and getting close to the Big Meadow when a little white egret flew in front of me near the houses . It was coming from the estuary and flew onto the reserve. It was flying east just south of the Big Meadow and then turned to go behind the willows in the Hay Meadow. I could not see from my position where it landed.
Continuing my walk I saw approximately 10 fieldfare in the Big Meadow. They were about 2/3 of the way from the Alder Pond to the Hay Meadow. They kept flitting about so difficult to be certain about the number and it was very cold so could not watch for long.
We were quite disappointed by this morning’s flush count. Maybe the snipe are preferring the estuary to the semi-frozen ground and continuing very wet conditions in the nature reserve. But looking back at the records, today’s total of 42 snipe (including 5 jack) is actually higher than the previous two Januarys.
Four snipe went up in the Hay Meadow, 3 in School Pond and 35 in Big Meadow. In addition we spotted several wrens, two mistle thrush in the LGGS Field, a female pheasant in Upper Sowerholme and a little egret flying over along the line of Lucy Brook. Earlier Graham had seen a little owl in Pony Wood.
This bird seems to spend a lot of time in Lucy Brook where it runs along Willow Lane and the back of the west field in Flora. Disturbed it again in this area this morning. As we then turned the footpath corner into Fauna it took off from Big Meadow and flew access the reserve before settling down in School Pond.
Turning the corner of the Pads path at the south end of Fauna around 12pm today, Paul and I caught a glimpse of a very white bird close to the Gleeson’s field hedge. It promptly flew off towards Big Meadow. We both thought ‘little egret’, but looking on the RSPB website I was starting to doubt our identification. However. searching past FA wildlife blog entries pulls up sightings close to Flora/Fauna in January this year. And on the wonderful Birding Aldcliffe website there is mention of 39 little egrets roosting at Ashton Hall earlier this month. So now feel confident enough to claim this species for the reserve,