4th August. A Few Good Days

Sooner or later the doldrums of summer would finally break and things would start to happen, or at least that's what I hoped as we said good bye to July and a very fond hello to August and the start (hopefully) of some proper migration.

First in a run of awful photos
There's generally very little of interest during the walk from the bus to the small lake and my main focus is usually to avoid getting mauled by the early morning dog walkers or their dogs! My first scan of the small lake revealed a small duck, among the Gadwall, with what appeared to be a supercilium - interesting.  Indeed it was interesting as it turned out to be the first record of Garganey (a drab female) on the patch earning itself the dubious title as the 170th species recorded here. Only the second addition to the list this year, the first being Jack Snipe.

Thursday had reverted back to stupidly warm and fearing a plague of morons I avoided a return visit in the evening.  Having had a poor nights sleep and waking with a sore throat I was almost tempted to give it a miss and head straight off to work. Fortunately I saw sense and headed out patch bound.  The Garganey had cleared off and generally there was a feeling of nothingness, after a lap of the small lake and a good scan of the large - no Med' Gull among the Black-heads and no sign of a much overdue Little Egret - or was there? I decided rather than do a circular route I'd retrace my tracks and have the benefit of the sun behind me. As I strolled along the causeway - contemplating whether to quit and get an earlier bus - I caught a glimpse of an obvious Egret coming low from the Treeton Dyke side. As I raised my bins it was immediately obvious that this was no little, this was a monstrous Great White, huge bowed wings, Toilet Duck like bend in the neck, long black legs and dangerous looking horn-coloured bill I reached for my camera and nailed some all important record shots as it headed off north, clearly unimpressed with what was on offer.

Unfortunately the camera was on the wrong setting and therefore the shots were even worse than would normally have been.

A Crop of the above shot.

This egret drifted north and an hour or so later turned up (not surprisingly) in the Dearne Valley at Adwick Washlands where it spent the morning.  

With a bit of time before the next bus I walked up the small mound and so I could scan the site and perhaps even pick the egret back up if it changed it's mind. Almost immediately I picked up not one but two egrets coming in from the north. Both obvious Little Egrets they briefly dropped onto the small lake before heading towards Rother Valley. 
Egrets of any species are still scarce around Sheffield - the Dearne Valley getting more than it's fair share - and to my mind this might be the first time that more than one species has occured at the same site on the same day

It has been suggested to me that the YNU (Yorkshire Naturalists Union) might not accept the Great White on the above images - surely you've got to be kidding? 
Little and Great White Egrets as different as Harpic and Toilet Duck

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