Went out yesterday with a fellow photographer from a Photography Forum I’m a member of; the idea being to photograph some of the birds round my local lake. I think they knew we were coming.
The weather could have been better; very dull and overcast, but we persevered.
Started by the car park, to see if we could catch a view of one of the Kingfishers that hangs out in that part. We were joined by a local landscape company, who had decided that yesterday would be a good day to start butchering some of the bushes there too. No Kingfisher then.
We carried on and I mentioned that just round the corner would be some Bullfinches. Always there; but not yesterday. Oh well, just further along there’ll be a Grey Wagtail. He’s guaranteed to be searching along the shoreline. We searched, and briefly glimpsed him before he flew to the other side of the lake. Embarrassment was beginning to creep over me, but we walked on to where I’d seen a Bittern on two previous occasions.
Yea, he’d moved on too, and so had the crowd of assorted ducks that usually choose this spot of water. Even the Herons were noticeably absent so far. A few regular joggers and dog walkers, but it was birds we had come to see.
Onwards. Now I know this lake really well, probably better than my own garden, but I was beginning to think I was somewhere else. Just a few of the ducks and birds that are usually there. Where were they all hiding? Even the Gulls were down on their usual numbers. I began thinking to myself, if this was my first visit here, it would probably be my last, there’s not much to offer. Even a couple of guys walking some dogs remarked how quite it was. Hmmmm.
A brief bit of excitement as a Mute Swan made a slow fly past, and the shutters clicked into life. I had a plan; and some bread in a bag.
I’ll throw some in the air to draw the few gulls over, so my friend could get some ‘flight’ shots. It worked, and I began to feel a bit better about things.
“The trees along here have Treecreeper” I confidently predicted, as we moved on.
Confidence shattered. None.
Onward, and then we spotted a Heron. We got a few shots in the bag, and I suggested I walk to the left a little, while my friend gets ready for a ‘take off’ shot. “He’ll go right” I offered.
He flew left, past me. I did manage one shot though.
We continued our circumnavigation, taking a few distant birds on our way, and eventually arrived back by the car park. The ‘butchers’ had moved on, and all was peace and quiet again.
We chatted a while, spotted a Green Woodpecker, not being very co-operative, but they were shots nonetheless. And while we chatted some more, from the corner of our eyes we spotted a bird land high on the reeds. The Kingfisher. Before we could raise our cameras, he was gone.
I’m sure he waved goodbye, with a smile on his face.