Wednesday, 15 July 2009

18 stone heron,reed warbler and me

MONDAY MORNING - After seeing the heron last night I thought he should still be on the pool today. They are a bird of stealth so I needed to have my wits about me. It was a bit dull when I started out but it was a fine morning. As I walked past a group of bushes I saw a greylag goose leave the lake, I never saw this on the water last night so he must of just dropped in. A few minutes later I was well chuffed when I counted 10 more Greylag geese I dont know when they arrived but they were not there 10 hours ago.I must be getting a bit better with the lens as I am managing to get sharper shots

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Part of the flock of Greylags

I was approaching the back of the pool. It is quite eerie around here, The bushes get quite thick and it is very dark and boggy, as the bushes end the bog carries on and I thought that if the heron is anywhere it will be down here. I emerged out of the bushes stooping very low and keeping extra quiet - Stealth was needed If I was going to find this heron.I was moving at a pace of one meter per minute when I spotted a possible reed warbler dive into some bushes - now this is a hard bird to photograph - you can never get any where near them. Now is my chance. All thoughts of the heron have gone as I concentrate on trying to find the little warbler. I approached the bush I saw him going into, it was in the dark boggy part a stream running through the bushes. Putting the camera up to my face, I held my breath as I tried to move the next meter or so. It was difficult as the new lens is quite long and heavy, but I slowy ,gradually, breathing at a rate of one breath a minute, it was so quiet i heard a spider spinning his web, no way was this warbler going to hear me coming. I got into the bush. SMASH BANG WALLOP CRASH bloody hell I about c*****d myself, I had only virtually stood on the bloody heron. I did not realise that they are 18 stone with a 16 yard wingspan and have you seen the length of there beak !!! the quiet gone as this brontosaurus of a bird tried to fly out of a 2' gap. There was an out break of noise as pigeons got spooked out of there nests, ducks panacking and quacking at the top of there voices a million frogs jumping and croaking. My cover was broke, dejected wet, wet , muddy and shaking like a leaf I bummbled and tumbled my way out of the quagmire.
All was not bad though as I got a shot of the now departing Greylags

the greylags departing the pool after the terrifying noises emerging from the bog

I think I must of frightened everything away as I walked down the other side of the pool. I was scanning to see if I could see the tufted ducks but I could not see them anywhere. I came to the willows where I normally see a reed bunting, I could hear them but not see them. I noticed a movement in the corner of my eye so I leaned slowly into the willows and to my amazement there was a reed warbler posing nicely for the camera - well it would of been had I had the camera ready. Slowly I got the camera in place but he had moved away , although I did get a glancing shot

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This is what I think is a reed warbler or somthing very similar

I left the pool that morning with mixed feelings but happy that I had got a couple of nice shots. I got to the van and it was earlier than I thought so I went up to Anchor hill in the hope to get a pic of some finches. I did not get any finches but I did get these

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This is a baby long tailed tit that was amongst a group of others

All in all I had had a fantastic morning and it is only 9am, I still have the whole day ahead of me as I start back home.


  1. WOW! Incredible pictures love the baby wag tail so cute. I'm going to get one of those cameras to fit to your head so we can see all these misdemeanours you get yourself into :)

  2. I really like this picture, angle composition and it`s fairly sharp. Great picture.

    ALthough the last thing I would want to see is the footage of Colins head cam !