3 Sep 2015

3 Sep 15 - A New Great White Egret In Brands Bay

I decided on an early walk up to Old Harry this morning. There were a few migrants, but nothing out of the ordinary for the time of year: the highlights included a Yellow Wagtail, 2 Whinchats, 2 Spotted Flycatchers, Reed Warbler & a scattering of commoner Warblers.
Dunnock: I liked this approachable Dunnock shot
As I was walking back to the car, I had a call from Graham Armstrong who had been Birding the South Haven end of the Studland/Ballard patch. He had just found a Great White Egret from the Houseboats. He then saw it fly off towards Brands Bay, after getting booted by a fisherman. About twenty minutes I arrived for the rising tide in Brands Bay. I was about thirty minutes too late & most of the mud was already covered. There was no sign of the Great White Egret or many Waders. But there were six Greenshanks. This would be an average day for nearby Brownsea, but it is a good total for Brands Bay: eight is my maximum. But the presence of the juvenile Osprey at the back of the bay, suggested that the Waders were likely to have been flushed at least a couple of times by the Osprey. This was good news as I was taking place in a coordinated Osprey count within Poole Harbour. So I knew there was at least one Osprey present in the Harbour. Soon after a call from Paul Morton to confirm he was watching a further three from the Middlebere/Arne area. So at least four Ospreys confirmed today, but I am still awaiting the final total for the Harbour. Anyway, just as the hour watch officially started, Mark Wright, a local Poole photographer, who was also in the hide, picked up the Great White Egret which had just flown out of the Brands Creek. This part of Brands Bay isn't visible from the hide & I guess the GWE had been there for the last forty minutes. Perhaps it had been disturbed by somebody heading out to Greenlands Farm.
Great White Egret
Great White Egret: Note, the pure white wing coverts
Within a few minutes, it had disappeared back into the Brands Creek, but it did reappear again about forty five minutes later, but this time it was further away for photos. It was time to head home for lunch, as it didn't look like it would come closer & the Osprey watch was over. A successful end to the morning's Birding.

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