Sunday, 4 November 2012

Cattle Egret, Goosander and a performing Kingfisher

Once I had some free time by early afternoon, I headed to Tower Hide to see if the Goosander was about. Unfortunately the tide never dropped sufficiently due to rain water. Ian W turned up at the hide and scoped some Egrets which were at Bridge Marsh. We concluded that one of them was the Cattle Egret; it was just about possible to make out the thicker neck and yellow beak through the haze. My stomach was complaining by this time so I headed home to get some lunch, and then rode to the pull in on the A3052 to see if the Cattle Egret was there. It was! Here's a couple of lame pics (it was fairly distant, and the light was on the wrong side leaving the bird almost completely backlit).

The bird was gradually working it's way towards me. I figured the best tactic for getting a close view would be to sit and wait rather than trying to move closer to it and risk scaring it off. This tactic was working well until another birder parked up VERY close to it and scared it off instantly. Nice one! Grrr, this hobby can be frustrating when careless people ruin it for you!

Next stop was Tower Hide to see if the Goosander had decided to show yet. It hadn't. But a nice juvenile female Kingfisher was performing well on the posts to the left of the hide. A heavy shower made the water on the Axe really muddy so I guess the still (and relatively clean) water on Black Hole Marsh became the next best fishing area. Here's a couple of the pics. I tried to take them in shadows as the occasional sunlight would only partially light up the bird, making for a very unattractive photo. I adjusted colour saturation etc in post production to make the scene look as though it was a bit more 'sunny' even though a lot of them were taken in the rain (Kingfisher pics 3, 5 & 6). I also took a pic of one of the Little Grebes:
Worth clicking on to get a larger view

Worth clicking on to get a larger view

Worth clicking on to get a larger view

Just as I was packed up and ready to leave, I took one final look out over the estuary... and there was the Goosander!! It was distant (at least 150m) and dark, but it's the first one I've seen (ever, anywhere) so it'll do!

A couple of the Kingfisher pics are worth clicking on to get a larger view.

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