11 July, 2010

Doesn't Get Much Better Than That

Doesn't Get Much Better Than That...

Remember that time when luck was just on your side... everything was going right... nothing was going wrong? No, neither do I; but I got pretty damn close last week, during a few nights stay at the grandparents house in Suffolk.

Being the absolute donker I am, I managed to leave my camera kit at home. In a nutshell...

"Right, time to do some photography. Hmm... I wonder where my camera is? I'm sure I packe- damn!"

This mean't that for the first three days I couldn't take any photographs at all; none at all; zilch; nil; zero, and I was literally crying myself to sleep at night. Anyway, on the fourth day I had my baby back safe with me via a pretty useless courier.

Before the trip, we'd been given a tip off as to where we could see Nightjar, one of those birds that most birders dream about, at Blaxhall Common by the coast. It was a healthy distance from where I was staying, so to make it a day trip we set out to RSPB Minsmere, and with camera in hand, I was hoping for some photos.

By the entrance feeders, this female Chaffinch was having a bit of a shocker with her plumage. I mean that style is sooo last year...


The reserve is dominated by reedbed, and Sedge and Reed Warbler were in full song. Occasionally the odd Sedge Warbler would pop up, albeit distant...


Down along the beach, I failed to pinpoint any Little Terns, but we did get distant and brief glances of a Grey Seal out in the sea. Believe me, it is a seal...


Back down on the wader scrape, much of the water was dried up, but a small pool had been adopted by a family of Avocets...


The juveniles, note the hint of a greyish brown tinge to the plumage...



Despite the young birds large size, the adults were still very protective, and were constantly chasing away nearby Black-headed Gulls...

The gull then decided to take his revenge. Getting ready to give the Avocet a good old slap...


With the sun low in the sky, we decided to head off to our next and last location of the day, Blaxhall Common, in the hope of finding Nightjar. The conditions couldn't have been better with a warm temperature and no wind. The sunset...


A clearing in a woodland were the Nightjars were located...


As the sun went down, I was amazed to hear a Dartford Warbler singing and briefly showing in the gloom, but it was too dark to get a shot.

Then, right on queue at 9.30pm, we heard a churring noise in the distance... Nightjar! Another churring noise started in a tree to the left and it soon became apparent that there were at least two males calling. From then on until 11pm, the Nightjars churred non-stop and flew right over our heads on several occasions. It was too dark for an acceptable photo but we did record a video with churring in...

video

At 11pm, the noise started to die down and eventually stop, although it was starting to freak me out.

On the final day, we took a brief trip to Lackford Lakes SWT before I took the train back to London.

With the amount of luck we'd already had with the Nightjars and the seal, we decided to try our luck in the Reed Hide, famous for Kingfisher sightings. After a painstaking and ass-breaking 5 minutes of sitting still in the hide, a little blue bird came and sat in full view on the wooden post designated especially for it...




So there you go, two of my personal best wildlife experiences in two days. I think it's safe to say that it doesn't get much better than that. I'll leave you with a little ickle bunny wabbit, just chilling out. I definitly feel like a sit down after this post.


1 comment:

GRAMPS said...

Brilliant posting Bill and I just love your sound file. Well done for showing us such a large variety of creatures.