Well, it must be said that the birding started immediately upon our arrival back in Worcestershire. News came through of a GREAT-WHITE EGRET at Upton Warren, so, after a few hours rest, and with continued presence of the bird we decided to go for it, having dipped the last Upton GWE in spectacular fashion.
Arriving at the Sailing Pool, we were informed that the bird was still present, but could be elusive tucked up in the corner of the 3rd flash.
To cut a long story short, we eventually saw the bird as it emerged fully from the reeds, but was always obscured by the bank between the two flashes, but we had decent views of the bird.
The reason for the bird being so elusive? Every second it was in the open it was mobbed by breeding BHG, and it was harassed until it moved back into cover.
A 'Great' grip back!
Heading out onto patch was fairly rewarding. My own personal highlight being a family party of Willow Warbler, which were found being fed by its parent's, calling loudly. In total, the 2 parents were feeding 6 young, by the looks of it, very recently out of the nest!
With the ongoing northwards shift in Willow Warblers range, it makes occurrences like this more and more unusual.
A single Mandarin was found on the river, and the 2 Lapwings continued to frequent the quarry.
A quick drop into Upton Warren again.
A stunning 1st winter LITTLE GULL had been found, and we enjoyed good flight views of this minute Gull from the West side, where it was hawking over the pool for insects. I have a particular fondness towards that black 'W' pattern on its upperwing, and i always find it a pleasure to have a study of this maritine Gulls plumage, always having ever so slight differences between individuals.
Later the same day, at the Gardening job in Earlswood, we heard a Cuckoo singing from the Garden, which proved a nice distraction from the somewhat tedious work, but it was only when leaving did i pick up the best bird. While driving near Earlswood train station, a stunning RED KITE flew over the road, and we stopped and watched the bird as it slowly circled higher and higher until eventually being lost to view.
I find it somewhat humorous, that every year for the last 5 years, i have seen a Red kite back in the midlands the weekend after returning from our Welsh holiday, maybe they just follow us back?