Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Cattle Egret, Kingfisher & a close encounter with a Water Rail

With some unfortunate circumstances preventing me from getting decent views of the Cattle Egret on Sunday, I took this afternoon off work (as holiday hours) in the hope that it was still about. It was! I ended up doing a lot of running around between the A3052 and back to the viewing platform at Colyford marshes as the bird kept changing position and going in/out of view. I did manage some pics where the bird is recognisable as a Cattle Egret, although they were pretty distant. Unfortunately a helicopter scared it away; it headed a LONG way upstream (I lost sight of it through binoculars so it must have been a couple of miles out). Hopefully it's still around. Here's some of the pics (pretty poor but certainly recognisable):

Whilst rushing to the viewing platform for the second time, I got very close to a Water Rail. It's a shame I didn't see it until I scared it off; I was preoccupied with trying to get the Cattle Egret. There was also a Robin posing nicely.

Next up was a visit to Tower Hide. Unfortunately the light remained really poor thanks to the prevalence of dark clouds. I took some naff pics of Lapwing; there were around 60 on show from the hide.

There was also the usual Kingfisher activity, although they didn't come close until around 16:45 by which time it was pretty dark. I took some pics anyway, but as it was so dark, I deliberately underexposed the shots (make everything look black to increase shutter speed of the camera) with the view to rescuing the colours and detail in RAW processing. I also took a couple of shots with my external flash and I was surprised that the Kingfisher wasn't remotely phased by it; not even a flinch or glance in my direction. Here's some of the pics. They're very underwhelming, but I'm pleased with how they came out considering they were taken after sunset, and on a cloudy day...

Holiday hours well spent I think!

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