I was at Holywell Pond today to help Cain (Holywell Birder), with his planned scout event. My job was to help the scouts with bird and plant identification starting at the members hide and ending at the north pool whilst BM (Killy Birder), and the other leaders took the second group of scouts through and around Holywell Dene.
When the group got to the hide I had an initial scan where a drake Wigeon was the only highlight. I started looking more carefully at a group of Swifts, which appeared over the obelisk before getting closer to the pond.
MF soon spotted a raptor in the same area and it was identified as a 1st summer Hobby. Although it was close to the swifts it never made a real attempt to chase them and after hanging over the pond for a while disappeared towards the dene.
After walking down to the public hide and then down to the north pool we stopped for lunch before swapping groups. During the lunch break I walked down to the public hide, as there was plenty of exposed mud in front of it.
Half way down the track to the hide I looked left through the gap in the hedgerow and saw two Little Egret flying east before dropping down near the members hide.
I was then told that three Little Egrets had just dropped in front of the hide and had flown off.
Before going to check from the members hide I saw a pair of Common Sandpipers running along the shore of the small island.
There was no sign of any Egrets from the members hide when I got there but I did have a good chat with one of my old teachers from high school who has recently found the joys of birding since retiring. As I was about to leave he spotted one of the Egrets tucked away in the reeds just out of sight form where I had been sitting. It then took off and flew over the pond heading west.
I really enjoyed today and seeing the pleasure birding and nature in general can bring to people of every age is what made the day for me, along with the good birds and good weather of course. I was also pleased to see the genuine enthusiasm and willing to learn more about nature from some of the young scouts.