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Sunday, 30 November 2008

FIRST TWITCHABLE CATTLE EGRET FOR BUCKINGHAMSHIRE
















After Paul Nye got a tip-off from some village residents, Simon Nichols rapidly disseminated breaking news of a CATTLE EGRET in Haversham village, just inside the county boundary from Northamptonshire. Being the first-ever twitchable CATTLE EGRET in Buckinghamshire, the keenest of the county listers set forth and within a very short time indeed, Simon Nichols and Nik Maynard had connected. Lol Carman was next on the scene and then myself.

The bird was ranging widely either side of the village and was very mobile. The weather was unfortunately persistent rain but the bird, when settled, was showing well. It favoured two areas: a field with four horses just west of the village at SP 829 431 (accessed by a public footpath to a stile between the houses) and in a set of horse paddocks and fields between the village and the sailing lake at SP 832 428.

It was a typical European Cattle Egret in winter plumage, with all white plumage barring some light buff on the crown and forehead and a relatively short yellowish bill. There was no buff colouration on the jowel nor any in the mantle plumes and no deep reddish colouration of typical winter coromandus (Indian Cattle Egret). The legs and feet were off-yellow. Little Egret was easily ruled out on bill colour, eg colour and overall structure.

I managed to get at least 30 photographs of the bird but these are barely of record quaility (see above). The bird remained throughout the afternoon (until at least 1430 hours when I left) and was later seen by Rob Andrews, Rob Hill, Ben Miller, Mike Wallen, Mike Campbell, and others.

According to horse owners and various drinkers at the village 'Greyhound' public house, the bird has been present since at least 19th November.

DIRECTIONS

From M1 junction 14, head north on the A509 into Newport Pagnell. Continue on the B526 through Lathbury to Tyringham, turning left on the minor road to Haversham. This road enters the village after 4 miles where one can park safely and courteously.