My old local patch of Baston & Langtoft Pits really is an excellent site these days. Over the weekend I visited the pits several times and was pleased to see that the elusive Black-necked Grebe was still around, in addition to Thursday's Wood Sandpiper success. However, bird of the weekend for me was an adult Cattle Egret, which I picked up by complete chance as it flew through my 'scope on the Friday evening.
My suspicion was that it had roosted on The Ocean (where herons breed/roost), in the private part of the complex. Returning early the next morning, I saw the bird again, flying purposefully north towards the River Glen. I guessed it might be visiting a nearby sheep field, but it continued beyond that and my next assumption was that it'd be along the banks of the river itself, where cattle are grazed. After an unsuccessful couple of hours' gulling at Tanholt with Mike Weedon, I returned to the area and walked along the Glen bank eastwards from Katesbridge. After a couple of miles and a few Little Egrets, I found the cows ... and, entirely predictably, the egret was with them. It was pretty wary but a bit of careful stalking eventually produced a few decent photos. OK, so Cattle Egret is hardly the discovery it was even a few years ago, but it's still relatively scarce in Lincolnshire and was a find tick for me and also a first site record, so I was fairly content – even if it's not the most inspiring of species.
Other than the egret again leaving its roost on the Sunday, I didn't see too much else of note, although there was a Green Sandpiper, a couple of Pintail and an influx of Wigeon and Shoveler. Red-crested Pochard numbers consistently hovered at around 100.
Then, on Sunday afternoon, news broke of a White-rumped Swift at Hornsea Mere. This first for Britain lingered until it was more or less dark, so I went up with Rich and Dante for first light. Of course, the swift didn't play ball and then Hugh Wright called with news of a stint species at BLGP. For the second time this year, he'd found a Temminck's Stint on the wader pit ... argh! Thankfully it lingered and all's well that ends well, for I saw the bird during the afternoon, on my way back to London. Also present was the Wood Sand, plus a couple of Whooper Swans for good measure. It really is a fantastic place for birding now – I just wish I could watch it more often!