Sunday, 12 January 2014

The early bird caught the worm.......or fish in this case!

On Friday night I was reading through the blogs of local birders and I was hit with the news of a Little Egret kicking about Horton Burn, having never seen a Little Egret my interest immediately peaked, and the fact it was hanging around a housing estate in cramlington made this info even more compelling.
So this morning, Sunday 12/1/2014, I went in search! I was up at 7:15 and left home just before 8. After a 15 minute drive( from Tynemouth) I got to Northburn and parked up near the burn on the eastern side of the estate. 
Lovely morning for it, clear, frosty and fresh! 
I started making my way west along the north side of Horton Burn, the burn was alive with the sound of bird life
Woodpigeon
Collared Dove
Starling 
Robin 
And a ridiculous amount of mixed male and female Blackbird, I must have seen 15 plus over a quite small area.
The bushes were alive with smaller birds Goldfinch, Blue and Great Tit. Along the banks of the burn every so often I would notice the odd Wren, a single Chiff Chaff and lone male Chaffinch were also noticed.
This was all well and good, nice walk, some decent sightings but still zero egret. Hmmmm once I got quite a way west I turned around and headed back. 
As I reached the bridge near the park I spoke briefly to lady who was walking her two chocolate labs, she mentioned a kingfisher being in the area, which she had seen fishing the previous day. She also mentioned not having seen the egret for a few days.........nightmare! 
I continued down the burn and as I neared the car something caught my eye, a flash of electric blue! The Kingfisher! This was impressive, a kingfisher in Northburn! A first for me, having only seen them along the river at Plessey Woods previously. I followed it back west along the burn but never got a chance to get a good luck, every time I got near it was off. Overall I think I got a good five sightings of it flying along the burn.
Once again I headed back to the car.... Feeling happy to have atleast seen the Kingfisher, when something white flew from behind a bush on the water!
The Little Egret!
Wow! 
I followed it for about twenty mins, talking to various dog walkers about it, and enjoying the sight of a new bird so close. Close enough that a scope or even binoculars wouldn't really be needed. What a buzz! 
Morning well spent and another species ticked off the species list! 
Here's hoping a Little Egret colony will become established in cramlington, at Arcot Lake perhaps? 
Keep dreaming Dave.......