Today I had hoped for the jackpot of Little Egret, Cattle Egret and Great White Egret! Dropping Abigail in Daventry for her music school, I set off for Earls Barton gravel pits (Summer Leys). With only a two hour window of opportunity, this was perhaps a little over ambitious, even more so that I hadn't a clue as to where I was going, but Cattle Egret would have been a life tick!
Arriving at Summer Leys, the small car park was full and over flowing so I headed back up the road and found a pull in, close to where the Cattle Egret favoured. Scans of the lakes and flooded fields only found me a Little Egret! The others, of course, were not seen! As I scanned, two birders pulled up and informed me that the Great White Egret was on the river bank about half a mile away, so, off I went, only to find the bird was a Little Egret! Hopefully, these two will not go home with a false tick!
Of consolation, the flood waters did hold a year tick for me in the form of a fine drake Garganey.
Time was not on my side, so I left to pick up Abigail.
Pagers and phone texts - a pain in the bum or a welcome asset? Recently, some messages have been vague beyond belief! They may as well say park near the tree with green leaves, walk towards the cow in a green field, and view from the green hedge with three rabbits in front of it! We are not all "local" and when time is at a premium, all help is valuable! Lets be more specific!
How amusing it was to see a couple of bird watchers, dressed in expensive and bright outdoor gear, wearing only light walking shoes, trying to negotiate very muddy and flooded paths! Madam was doing a good impression of "cat on a hot tin roof"! If you stray out of the garden into the wild countryside expect to get wet and muddy and dress for it! If you can afford the best Leica equipment around your necks, i'm sure you could obtain some wellies!
Now, should I rant about "fantasy birding"? Hmmmmm.....................!