Thursday, 24 March 2011

Double Vision...

After reading Phils' tales of short-eared owl at West Hartford last night I thought I'd try my luck this evening. Sure enough the SEO made an appearance, so after nipping back to the car for the camera gear I returned to my roadside vantage point and found that the bird had gone to ground. Nothing unusual here, as SEO can disappear for periods inbetween feeding - so I waited.

Annoyingly, at about 17:55 my owl attention was diverted as a suspicious white head popped up out of the ponds reedy edge... and after a moment of uncertainty, there it was - my second Cramlington great-white egret. No longer treated to capital letters on the pager, this is still a rare egret 'oop north, so I quickly got the news out via phone call and text. Given the birds position (south-east corner of pool), I advised all to join me at the roadside so not to disturb.

Phil was the first to arrive - he'd dipped the last two records, and as he headed back to his folks car to let them know I'd give him a lift back, out popped egret number 2 - amazing!!!

Gordon arrived soon after, all suited up I might add, along with a few speedy others. Good move, as with all two other Cramlington records, the pair soon headed off north west as dusk set in.

As with the Arcot bird that I found 2 years ago - I had the camera, but the birds were way too distant - so it's record shots only... here goes...


One...

...Two

And they're off...
You might be able to make out that one bird (the first seen) had an almost completely yellow bill, while the second almost completely black - different rates of breeding condition?

Previous Cramlington records were both, weirdly at Arcot Pond on April 25th - 1 for a few minutes in 2009, and the other, a flyover in 2010...

2 comments:

Northumbrian Birding said...

What a great find John thanks for the heads up, too far away at the time for me !!!
Brian

Mark Mowbray said...

Great report John I called in this morning but nothing worth getting excited about.