Down to Lynford Arboretum for just after dawn with an expectation of Hawfinch, of which there was none!! Contrasted against previous years it actually seemed fewer birds of all species were around. A flock of 60 Siskins was nice , as were views of Roe Deer and Muntjac. Met up with Bill Stone here and we all went across to Lakenheath RSPB Reserve where we bumped into Neil Calbrade (BTO)who I'd intended to contact with a couple of issues whilst down in Norfolk!! As we were all with friends I left business aside and we all set about trying to locate the Great Grey Shrike ( they did, we didn't!!). Compensation came in the form of two Common Cranes, Bearded Tit and excellent views of a Water Pipit and a couple of tantalising glimpses of Chinese Water Deer.
Later, looking over the lagoon near the car park we were entertained by an absolute bonanza of gulls ( Black-backs, Herring, Yellow-legged, Caspian,Common and BHG).Despite living near the sea gulls aren't a feature of life on Islay. Most move out in early winter and its not until early spring that we get large numbers of adult Common and Herring Gulls arriving and moving through.
Moved on to Weney in the early afternoon and scanned over the floodland for the Great White Egret which is present. As previously hordes of duck and swans were about but we made no progress in seeing the egret until receiving some instructions from the warden ( many thanks ) about it having taken up residence in a particular ditch nearby. And there it was.....a magnificent bird in perfect surroundings. Whilst there we also had Grey Wagtail and a Green Sandpiper, the latter being a species that I don't normally see until the autumn nowadays.
A good day!!