A long staying Bucks rarity

I had tried to find a Western Cattle Egret a couple weeks back without any luck but today I got it. Thanks to the long stay of this local rarity, I could give it a second try today. It has been reported multiple times a day since it was found in early December 2013.

Western Cattle Egret. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Western Cattle Egret. © Gyorgy Szimuly

At the entrance road of the Briarhill Farm off Steeple Claydon (Buckinghamshire) another bird photographer/birder was waiting for having a closer view of the egret. It was a bit distant for a decent shot. During my one hour stay it flew a few times, allowing better views. While following the movement of the egret I witnessed  nice bird activity around. A mixed flock of Redwings and Fieldfares feed on the adjacent field which apparently attracted the birds of prey. At my arrival a male Eurasian Sparrowhawk patrolled over the fields. Shortly after a male adult Peregrine Falcon flew just over us. The photographer managed to take a few frames of it. At the end of my stay a huge female Eurasian Sparrowhawk bombed into the flock of thrushes.

Northern Lapwings were flying from different directions and Eurasian Jackdaws calls filled the whole farm.

Birds seen at the farm:

Western Cattle Egret 1
Eurasian Sparrowhawk 2
Red Kite 1
Common Buzzard 1
Northern Lapwing 113
European Herring Gull 4
Lesser Black-backed Gull 6
Peregrine Falcon 1 adult male
Eurasian Magpie 2
Eurasian Jackdaw 48
Rook 4
Carrion Crow 14
European Robin 1
Fieldfare 39
Redwing 75
European Starling 13
Dunnock 1

P.S.: Sometimes it is hard to adopt changes in the bird taxonomy. As falcons thought to be a sister family to parrots they have been placed before parrots. It’s a bit strange seeing them separated from hawks and eagles.


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