Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Great White Egret still at Oare

I have not posted anything for a week or so now so to the regular readers of this blog I apologise. The reality is that I’ve not really seen anything worth talking about.
I have had a couple of sessions at Sandwich but it has been very quiet there – the shore larks and snow buntings having disappeared. The main focus of my efforts this last week has been Dover Harbour. After each major blow I have gone down there hoping something new would have been forced in but the only birds of interest have been the great northern diver and a few guillemots; I’ve not been able to find Tony Morris’s yellow legged gull.
 The diver and several guillemots were still there yesterday.
Today the weather forecast suggested the north Kent coast would be brighter than the south coast so I went up to Oare to try my luck with the great white egret.
As I arrived at Oare just about the first bird I saw was the great white – it was departing from the channel alongside the road and walking towards the east flood. By the time I got level with it it was in the flood and briskly walking further out. I parked up to see what it would do. For a few minutes it did nothing then it walked across to the rushes that line the flood between the road and the east hide and settled down for a kip.
Great White in the gloom
I parked up and did a circuit. Plenty of lapwing, golden plover, rough, pintail etc but nothing out of the ordinary however it was good to see a decent number of reed buntings on the bank of the Faversham creek – they are like hens teeth at Sandwich at the moment and a flock of ~ 20 greenfinch behind the east hide.
On completing the circuit the egret was still in the rushes so I went out to the hide west of the road and saw.......absolutely nothing.  However on returning to the road the egret had moved  back out on the flood and walking to the spit that runs from the road out into the flood – the one where the lapwings roost.

He sat around there for some time then moved back into the water. I went and got my car so as to use that as a hide and returned to the bird which was still in the flood. It then walked across the field to the road side channel but every time someone or something came along the road it moved out of the channel and back towards the east flood. At one point it was right by one of the gates and was looking with some interest at the west flood. It even had a flap and rose off the ground but changed its mind, dropped back to the ground  and went back to the rushes.

I think I have read/heard that the bird may be sick however it was pretty lively today. In common with other great whites I’ve seen it was skittish and didn’t like anything moving nearby – people or cars. I do think it needs to find somewhere other than the roadside channel to feed though because there are too many people and vehicles going past for it to get any peace in there.

1 comment:

  1. Great account Steve and some Great shots of the GWE I did wonder whether it has a problem because it lets you get too close at times. Mike