Unmilitarily, I had forgotten that the river is rather high at the moment; sure enough, when I cycled by, there was a whole lot of water and no egrets.
However, Operation Egret turned out not to be a washout, for as I passed the A1 Fishery between the two Muskhams, I noticed 3 little egret, and a greater black backed gull about the size of a car door sailing in front of them.
My first ever opportunity to photograph these snow white birds! Operation Egret was a success.
However, things got rather more exciting as I cycled on to the reserve at North Muskham lake, for among the usual tufted duck on the water, I noticed a rather similar looking, but smaller, bird energetically diving near a small reed bed.
At first I thought it might be a little grebe bobbing about, but when I got closer, I wondered what it was I was looking at, a smart looking black and white duck with a prominent yellow eye.
Revelation came when it joined up with the stunning male. It was a goldeneye, the James Bond duck, and for me, a so called "lifer".
I know. It's not much of a lifer, they are common in winter! But I've never seen one before for definite, let alone photographed one!
It was a great day's birdwatching, for there were fieldfares that might actually be mistle thrush, and a buzzard watching me from a haystack!
Hopefully this is a good omen for the year.
All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 01.01.16
|Two little egrets|
|Tufted duck flotilla|
|The happy couple|
|Not a fieldfare|
|Wondering if these birds wandering around a field were actually mistle thrush. They look a little large to be song thrushes|
|Watching from his haystack|