Great White Egret, Lea Farm GP, 5th November 2009
6 November 2009 | Marek Walford
On the 5th November 2009 a Great White Egret was seen by Fraser Cottington and Alan Rymer at Lea Farm GP. The following is Fraser's write-up:
Alan Rymer and I were at Bittern Hide looking out for large brown birds, but caught sight of a large white Egret flying over the South East corner of Lea Farm GP, it was half visible as it circled low behind the poplars, but even at that range (c350-400 yards), it's size, long neck and long trailing legs were apparent, but the views too brief to be sure.
Alan ran for his car to get his boots and agreed to meet me at Lea Farm GP ASAP. I ran down to the gap in the hedge....nothing, so went on to the next gap and went thru, still nothing.
Having seen Little Egrets do the same thing before, I thought it had to be in the SE corner, which is not visible from anywhere along the Loddon, so set off along the NW lake edge and kept looking into the SE bay, but still nothing, then as I got up to the Northern most shingle spit, it suddenly appeared right in the far SE corner, I got my bins on it straight away and could see it was huge and had a nice large yellow bill and long dark trailing legs. It chose to come directly towards me, over the lake at about 30 ft, it gained height to about 45-50ft as it came directly overhead and onwards, sadly we did not relocate it at the next lake, so my best guess is it is on Land's End heronry, or Hurst Green.
There has been an egret seen by the contractors building Lea Farm hide and we assumed it was Little, but who knows now.
There have been four previous records, the most recent two awaiting judication. None have been twitchable.
- 2009 Stockcross, 8th February.
- 2007 Queen Mother Reservoir, 24th December.
- 2004 Theale GP, 27th April.
- 2003 Theale GP, 25th February.