It has been another one of those autumn days which meant that birding won hands down over indoor jobs......they will get done one day, honest !
I began the day with my collie companions in the valley below Hanging Houghton and walked towards Blueberry. There was certainly no shortage of birds around. There was a constant movement of Skylarks and Starlings, but I think that the most amazing sight was that of literally hundreds and hundreds of Fieldfare flying across the fields resembling a "snow blizzard".
Other birds included 3 Lesser Redpolls, 2 Grey Partridge, Barn Owl, 2 Red Kites, 2+ Ravens, a pair of Stonechat and a few Tree Sparrows.
After brunch I decided to visit Pitsford Reservoir. On the small side at least 20 Red-crested Pochard were easily visible, the males looked stunning in the sunshine. Two Great White Egrets were together in the Scaldwell bay, along with 3 Redshank and 8 Pintail.
I decided that I would walk around the whole of the bigside !! Bazra, my old collie didn't look too impressed at the prospect, whilst Bobbie was delighted to be pushed around and act as my "scope bearer".
As I walked across the causeway I noticed a group of walkers looking quite intently at something and laughing. They were watching a Little Egret which was standing on a bed of weed next to the causeway and this bird was really playing to its audience. The bird was dancing about, turning from side to side and not remotely bothered by the people who were within touching distance. It evoked memories of being in the Everglades many years ago with Egrets etc literally walking over our feet. This bird certainly gave a lot of pleasure to folk and who knows may have ignited a spark of interest in bird-watching.
Later I was stopped by a couple of folk walking around as they said that they had just seen a "huge White Heron"!, and I was able to confirm that indeed they were looking at a huge White Heron or more specifically the third Great White Egret currently present. We then chatted and they were keen to find out more about the birds and some of the other birds nearby.
Other birds around the big side included a Redshank, Ruff, 2 Dunlin, 10+ Lesser Redpoll and another pair of Red-crested Pochard.
It took me just over 4 hours to walk around and it was dark by the time I returned to my car; a couple of Little Owls were making all kinds of weird and wonderful noises near to the causeway.