Friday, 28 September 2012

Great White at Wilstone!!!

No, not a Great White Shark but a Great White Egret. The bird was seen flying in on Sunday and surprisingly stayed around and is still there. As I walked along the north bank of the reservoir I could see the egret by the reeds on the south bank, a distance of 600 metres, far too distant for any sort of a shot. I therefore continued round to the hide, virtually halving the distance but, surprise surprise, it had gone out of view.

Fellow photographers Graeme and Kris also arrived at the hide and it wasn't too long before the egret appeared around the reeds, somewhat closer than I had been expecting, but nowhere near as others had reported earlier. But at least we were able to get a few shots. Note the crocus-coloured bill of the rare Great White compared to the black bill of the common Little Egret.

We were hoping that the egret would continue right along the reeds gradually getting closer, eventually ending up in the bay by the hide, but sadly not. Instead a Grey Heron decided he wanted to fish where the Great White was standing and flew in to oust the intruder. The next few seconds were pandemonium with wings going in all directions with, at one point, the GWE ditching into the water. Luckily I was able to capture the action.

Unfortunately, the egret was eventually scared off and flew back to the south bank so we decided that was the best we were going to get and walked back to the car. When I left Graeme and Kris they were discussing how much of their new kitchen money to spend on Graeme's new lens.

Then in the evening I popped down to Amwell and, after a few minutes at the viewpoint, both Barry Reed and Graham White called a Great White Egret, which landed for a few seconds opposite the viewpoint before carrying on towards Stanstead Abbotts.

As Graham pointed out, I am probably the only person that has seen two separate Great White Egrets (the other one was still at Wilstone) on the same day in Hertfordshire.

I claim my prize.

1 comment:

  1. The encounter with the heron was quite spectacular - pleased YOU got the photos to remember it by.