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Great White Egret on Bryher

12th April 2021

You can’t mistake a Little Egret for a Great White Egret, can you? Well I did! I found this Great White Egret on Friday at the Big Pool while on Bryher and passed it off as a Little Egret as I thought that GWE have a yellow bill all year round and it didn’t appear to look all that big.

There is no excuse, I cocked it up!! Fortunately, The Great White Egret was still present on Bryher today. As I approached Rushy Bay this morning in my kayak, it flew along the coastline just meters away from me before settling on one of the islands out of the bay. Here, it would of been impossible to get near it from the shore but with the kayak, I gently rowed up to the egret and snapped off some shots before it was pushed off by a Grey Heron. Shortly afterwards, I relocated the egret on the Big Pool and observed it walk up from one end to the other through the middle and then continue along the shoreline. I left it alone and for the next two hours, except for a single Whitethroat and very small numbers of Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff, I didn’t see anythin else. I had one more look at the egret, that was still on the pool and then started making my ways to Tresco, expecting to see nothin really.

The first sighting of the Great White Egret, was on Friday really but I didn’t know that at the time, otherwise this morning, it was while kayaking into Rushy Bay where I took this pic

Even though the egret showed superbly at very close range on the Big Pool, the light wasn’t on my side. This is only my forth Scilly record. This includes two in the last two years as it mega status that was on Scilly not long ago, is now turning out to be an annual visitor. With less than ten Scilly records, this I believe could be only the Second spring sighting on the islands. As it’s easily approachable, could this be a Great Egret from the good ole USA?

I also did have a Little Egret distantly in the Tresco Channel

The only Whitethroat was next to the Big Pool

Altogether I only had 3 Blackcap including this male

Only the odd Willow Warbler seen

Up to 13 Wheatear in total

Good numbers of Dunnock on the island

Grey Plover

Rock Pipit

I arrived at South Beach, Tresco, just after 16.00 and as Bryher was pretty quiet, I was expecting to cover the two pools in a jiffy to get home early. That didn’t go to plan and as I started to do the circuit of the Abbey Pool, Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff were very vocal all over the shop with a total of 20 and 15 respectively. It was while at the east end of the pool that I kicked a Grasshopper Warbler at the side of the track that I was on. It gave good flight views as it flew into a nearby gorse bush. Two minutes later, it returned to where I had flushed it from but could I see the thing? Along pool Road, there wasn’t much goin on until I got near to the entrance of the David Hunt Hide. I could hear a Coal Tit ahead of me and ran ahead to find it feeding on the over hanging branches of the path. This was a mega for me as it’s only my third Scilly record and they were individuals over ten years ago on St Agnes! The sun was in my eyes as I looked up to have a good look at it. It proved very mobile and flew deeper into cover. I waited around in the area and refound it further west along the path. This time the light was on my side and it showed very well before moving on to the Great Pool side with the local Blue and Great Tit that it had now attached to. Great stuff! While in the hide, a flava wagtail with a raspy call flew over east and the 4 Cattle Egret, that I had early in with the cattle off Pool Road, were now at Simpson’s Field where there was also 4 Shoveler, single Tufted Duck and Common Sandpiper. At the woodpile, I just got onto a distant Brent Goose flying east over the Roads towards St Martins. I returned to the Abbey Pool to find that the Swallow had increased from 50 early to 110 Swallow with 20 Sand and 4 House Martin. Leaving Tresco in the kayak shortly afterwards, I bumped into a stunning summer plumage Great Northern Diver that just kept coming closer and closer and wouldn’t leave me alone. In the end I got home at about 20.30 and fed the pigs. I did feed them also before I left early on this morning as well

Over 20 Willow Warbler were counted at tye Abbey pool with only the odd ones and twos along Pool Road

And what a bonus to come across only my third record of Coal Tit on Scilly along Pool Road

The 4 Cattle Egret are still with us

Just got onto this Brent Goose distantly flying east

Leaving Tresco in the evening light, I couldn’t believe my luck when this cracking Great Northern Diver appeared in front of me while kayaking towards St Mary’s

Last Friday while on Bryher, I stumbled onto this Hoopoe at Fraggle Rock

And on the same day on Tresco, this Yellow-legged Gull was at Simpson’s Field

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Author: Kris Webb 10

I love to throw sticks at trees! I also can’t get enough of music! I also blog about my observations on Scilly and wherever I go around the world and what’s sometimes on my mind. I’ve visited over 30 countries and some more times than once. I’ve worked and volunteered in Nepal, USA, Peru, Gambia, Costa Rica, 3x Australia, and refugee camps in Palestine The profile image is one I took while in Palestine of a brave Israeli holding high the Palestinian flag in front of the Israeli Offensive Forces during protests in Belin

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