Had to do a couple of hours work this morning, finished at 0930 and started my fortnight holiday. First priority was a county tick at Wilstone.
Arrived at 1030 and immediately on getting to the top of the steps saw my first Herts Great White Egret feeding beside the southern reed bed, a long way off. Made my way to the hide, picking up a Ringed Plover and an assortment of ducks. Not a lot happening in the hedge or trees apart from the usual Chiffchaffs and Robins.
Got to the hide, met two photographers (one from Stevenage) and sat down to wait. The Egret spent a lot of time out of view behind the reeds, occasionally coming round the corner. Unfortunately a Grey Heron seemed to make it nervous and it never got all that close.
Three Golden Plover were on the causeway, and after everything was flushed I managed to see two Pintail. Duck and gull numbers gradually built up over the two hours I was present, but nothing else was noted until a distant Arctic Tern caught my eye. Later, a juvenile Common Tern appeared.
Hirundines were present in large numbers, initially it was mainly House Martins, but a lot of Sand Martins eventually arrived. Small numbers of Swallows were also present. At one point a Kingfisher flew past the hide, a few Little Egrets wandered around and a pair of Grey Wagtails turned up.
A lot of distant shouting appeared to relate to a dog running in and out of the reeds, putting up all sorts of birds, but luckily the Egret was not disturbed. Rain eventually arrived and I left soon after,