Thursday, 3 January 2013

Watercress Wagtail

With the week between Christmas and New Year off work, I was praying for some decent weather. Thursday the 27th I awoke to rain again and convinced myself that it wasn't going to get better. So you can imagine my delight when just after midday the clouds parted and some sun shone through. Like on Boxing Day the day before, I was up and out, waterproofed up to the max and off around the village.

First stop at the end of the water meadows, several Red Kites circled above the adjoining paddocks of Owls Lodge, 4 in total, and although I couldn't see in the 45 mins or so I watched, they all kept flying low over a certain area of the fence line about halfway down the field, occasionally landing. I guess there was something tasty to eat there.

A large number of Mute Swans - 16 in total, all milled about together on Jackson's Lake, the local rainbow trout fishery. Almost double what I have seen together so far this winter around the village. But then we did have some pretty large families during the spring, probably just two joined up for Christmas Dinner.

With nothing to close to photograph I did a full circuit of the village and came back in on the far side, Longparish has quite a few small watercress beds, private little businesses doted all around the village. This is usually a good spot to pick up a Little Egret. So I snuck into one of them, with my gear hoping for some shots of the flighty Egret or perhaps even a Water Rail out in the open.

Turns out I wasn't stealthy enough and the Egret flew off to other flooded parts of the village. So I found myself a good spot in the corner of the cress beds, with my back to the surrounding trees and the sun. After a couple of minutes scanning I picked up a Grey Wagtail about 20 metres in front of me. It proceeded to feed right up to within 5 metres. Totally oblivious to me snapping away on the 7D.

It was a shame really although only 2pm the sun had dipped beneath the tree line and only a few rays got through to light up the shallow water. Creating a lovely orange glow, the Wagtail however was in the shade for the most part so shot at quite high ISO. I shouldn't complain to much, quite an enjoyable few hours and my closest encounter with the Grey Wagtail to date.

Grey Wagtail
 Up to date pictures and sightings, prior to me getting around to writing these blog posts, I would be more than grateful for any 'Likes' or Comments on my FB Photography Page too so feel free to comment or criticise about anything.

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