New year’s day on the fen.

Nocton Fen/Bardney.   1st Jan 2016

Well, I doubt whether many of the 365 days that lie ahead (it’s a leap year, you know), will be better days birding than the one I enjoyed today.

Main target was the great white egret and the search started at first light. There were a few herons about but they were either right size/wrong colour, (grey heron), or right colour/wrong size (little egret). Miles of river and delph bank walking helped me see off some of the seasonal excess. Mind you I still had leftover cooked meat and mince pies in me sarnie box.

It wasn’t until the light was fading in the afternoon that I connected. The deadly duo, Derek and Derek, whom I’d bumped into earlier, had seen it fly into a ditch near the barns. They flagged me down as I was driving past, to go and check another spot. That’s another large drink I owe them.

The bird was completely out of view but  I decided to walk along a track towards the ditch, then creep up on all fours. Crouching down in the ditch I managed to stay out of site and observe the egret and get a record shot.

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Even without the gwe, a great day’s birding was enjoyed. Tawny, little, barn and short-eared owl made up a good tally. About fifteen whooper swans with lots of mutes included at least two bewick’s. A kingfisher flashed along the delph. Half a dozen bramblings and some redpolls were mixed in with chaffinches at Wasps Nest. Lots of wildfowl and winter thrushes about.

Almost forgot, I saw an all-white pheasant. Very smart, I loved it. Very shy, couldn’t get pic. Might try another day.

Nice to get a bit of winter type weather at last.

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