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Monday, 23 September 2013

Crakes and Egrets

I started at Blacktoft Sands this morning as a Spotted Crake had been found there yesterday evening, another one of those birds that used to be a far commoner passage migrant 15-20 years ago but has become quite scarce now, much to the relief of the assembled throng it was still present this morning and showed briefly several times down the central channel from the Singleton Hide although a bit distant and in the shade and as I only had my bins with me it wasn’t the best of views, there were also a few waders here that included a couple of Curlew Sandpipers plus a Buzzard and the Marsh Harriers hunted nearby. By late morning it seemed to have gone to ground and as there hadn’t been any sightings for over an hour or more I decided on a change of scenery and headed into Lincolnshire to try for the Cattle Egret at Tetney Lock, the last report of this bird from last Friday had been from along the Louth Canal north of Thoresby Bridge so I thought I would try there first, I parked up and walked along the Canal for about half a mile or so till I came across a field full of Cattle, unfortunately they weren’t being accompanied by any Egrets so I thought I’d head back to the car and check out around the Village itself, however on the way back I passed a pond by the side of the Canal with a couple of Mute Swans and Coots on and while giving it a quick scan I came across another white blob in a small patch of reeds on the edge and there it was, I managed to stalk quite close to it and got some really good views and pics of this nicely plumaged bird, the thing with birds like this is if they're on private land and you don't have permission you're trespassing but if they're on a public right of way as this bird was, then eventually other people come along and flush it which is what eventually happened. I returned to Blacktoft to see if the Spotted Crake would show any better this evening, it did, in fact it performed very well and as I had taken my scope this time I got some really good views although it was still too far away for a decent pic.
a few waders present

plus a Buzzard was something different 

a pond with a couple of Mute Swans

and another white blob in the reeds

the first time it was flushed it flew to a tree at the far end

but then several groups of walkers came along
and that was it

a very distant Spotted Crake

here with a Water Rail running left

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