The tale of two sad twitchers looking for a Great White Egret.
A friend had asked if he could go birding with me on Monday, the main aim was to see his first Great White Egret if it was still around after I had told him I had seen it at Conder Green last Friday. We tried really hard to find the bird, but it was nowhere to be seen either at Conder Green, nor at the canal basin at Glasson Dock where it had been reported on Sunday. Later in the day we decided to take a look for about a mile along the canal east of Thurnham Mill where the bird had been first found on Thursday 12 January....no sign.
But at 13.54pm on our way back along the canal towards Thurnham Mill, I had a call from the ever trusted and reliable AC to tell me the GWE was on the canal behind Christ Church at Glasson Dock....Shuck's.
Mike and I had gone in the wrong direction in our pursuit of this elegant white bird. When we arrived at the church it had done a runner from there too, but on a chance look towards Jeremy Lane, we found it in the field behind Saltcote Brow pumping station at the junction of School Lane/Jeremy Lane three hours after we had first started to look for the GWE in the area. The bird flew off and was actually seen walking along the canal tow-path ocassionally stabbing at the reed edge.
GWE Jeremy Lane 23 Jan Pete Woodruff
The day went from bad to worse after we left home, from cold and misty, to damp and eventually rain, anything but pleasant, and doing any birding on the Lune Estuary through the murk at Glasson Dock wasn't on. But it was good to find 11 Bewick's Swan in the field off Slack Lane at Cockersand, where a lone Fieldfare was seen, and the large herd of Whooper Swan were grazing away in the fields south to Bank End still. On Jeremy Lane, another 12 Whooper Swan seen.
On the canal basin, a Little Grebe seen, and 15 Tufted Duck in the east corner with a lone drake Goldeneye. Conder Pool noted 3 Little Grebe, 42 Wigeon, and a drake Goosander, with the Spotted Redshank in the creeks remaining the most reliable and regularly seen of it's species to be found wintering in our area. The trundle along the canal saw a welcome 2 Song Thrush at Thurnham Mill, and a female Goosander on the canal.
And a not so good cold damp and murky time was had by all!
I was grateful to JW for his record sent to me of 3 Stonechat - a male and two female - he saw on Hutton Roof Sunday 22 January.