Friday 1 January 2016

Operation Egret

I started off the day with this militarily planned attempt to go and photograph some little egrets today, at a spot next to the River Trent near South Muskham where I often see them fishing from gravel spits at the edge of the water.

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

Little egret

Two little egrets

Tufted duck flotilla


More pochard!
Mrs goldeneye

The happy couple

Mr goldeneye


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


  1. That's a great start to your year, Si! I'd be just as thrilled to see Goldeneye - such smart little ducks and not all that common around here either. (Yup, Mistle Thrushes rather than Fieldfare).

  2. Always exciting when a "lifer" comes your way.
    A good start to the year. wishing you a bird filled new year.

  3. Lucky you with those golden eyes. A real case of fortune favouring the prepared mind Si.

  4. Oh wow, what a great start to the year Simon - the egrets are just lovely, but seeing the goldeneye duck is amazing - I've never spotted one while out and about before so I know why it's exciting! Great finds. - Tasha

  5. Congratulations with your Goldeneye 'Lifer' Si! You certainly saw a great selection of species! A good omen for the rest of the year as you say!

    Super pics too!

  6. Thank you so much for your kind words, really did feel like I'd started the year well!