After stopping on the way to get four new tyres just so I can ensure I will be able to get to Old Moor during the promised hard winter I headed to the reedbed screen to listen for beardies again - but they were the usual kind for me, the invisible ones. I did have a stand off with a dragon though.
After watching a little grebe consume a stubborn fish, a lot of coot action and a lapwing party at the reedbed hide I decided that I would take my place in the photographers bittern hide, and await the appears of the blue flash. I waited. And waited. But there was plenty to see anyway. A marsh harrier taunted us by not coming quite close enough but wonderful to see. A cocktail of lapwings and starlings were hanging out and bathing. Starlings are simply stunning and when the sun shines on them they are beyond stunning. Several times the whole lot took off and did and wonderful display. A brave bunny was at silflay (sorry, I do like the book Watership Down) , I really wanted an action shot but I got a stretch instead.
Eventually there was a tantalizing period whereby a kingfisher rested on the far posts and eventually did come and visit - but the light was not too good and it was brief. I decided to wait some more. Finally it did return and I was lucky enough to get this shot of it returning the bits of fish it was not keen on to the water. Again the light was not brilliant but just to observe the behavior of birds is a privilege. And at Old Moor there is always so much to see. Thanks to all the staff and volunteers and also to the people I meet there who help a dummy identify birds! I am learning though.
My apologies if I have shared this poem before but I wrote it a year ago in the bittern hide and it seems appropriate.
The kingfisher arrives in his impossible blue preceded by his own urget announcement.
He bobs. He falls.
Down to break the green mirror with a plop.
Returning to his perch he holds a small silver treasure fish.
Then with a deft elegance not afforded to Jonah and the whale,
The kingfisher juggles it's treasure until headfirst it is gone.
Stunning photos Mary love the Kingie throwing up lol.
That Dragonfly is an impressive shot.
My Flickr photos
In reply to Alan.:
Thanks Alan, lucky shots not skill!
Capturing a dragonfly in-flight is no mean achievement.
Good idea to use the waiting time in hides for something more productive like composing poetry
We spend 90% of net income on conservation, public education and advocacy
The RSPB is a member of BirdLife International. Find out more about the partnership
© The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654