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Saturday, 9 March 2013

Back to Greylake! - 9th March 2013

It was a sunny afternoon when I decided to pop up the road to RSPB Greylake Nature Reserve with my family, unfortunately by the time we had got there the Sun was hidden behind large ominous looking black clouds! Great, won't be getting many decent pictures then, I thought!
   We walked to the hide at the end of the boardwalk, which weaves it's way around some reed beds and pools, and found that the hide was quite busy. On entering I was aware of an excited atmosphere.... there was a Hen Harrier moving right to left! It moved away before I had a chance to photograph it! Just a minute too late! Sat on one of the distant posts was a Merlin! Just out of reach for a decent photograph, though I tried anyway! I really want a lens with more reach, my 70-300mm Nikkor  is a great lens for closer subjects but not ideal for moments such as this! The light was awful too, everything conspiring against photography!!
    However, I had some great views of the Merlin through the RSPB guides telescope. It was a female and she was having a good preen on the post! At one stage she flew a little closer and landed in an ivy covered dead tree, she was only there for a few seconds when ANOTHER Merlin chased her off!! The first time I'd ever seen 2 Merlins together!
  Shortly afterwards, a Sparrowhawk flew low over the reserve, putting the Teal, Wigeon, Snipe and Little Egrets to flight! It's only when a Bird of Prey disturbs the birds that you get a full idea of just how many birds are using the reserve for food and shelter!
 A couple of Little Grebes were fishing a little way in front of the hide and just as I left the hide a Raven flew over. The RSPB guide told me it was making a nest in a tree over the back of the reserve!
  The clouds were even darker as we made our way back to the Car Park and high in the sky a flock of Golden Plovers flew over in formation, numbering about 30. Lapwings and Starlings were milling about in the sky too.
  I had a brief chat with a lovely guy called Stuart from Taunton, then it was quickly into the car as the heavens finally opened!! No photographing the little birds in the Car Park today!!

 Below are some of the not so great pictures I took!

^Above^ - Teasel....an attractive photographic subject!

^Above^ - Reeds with moody skies overhead.

^Above^ - Spring is on it's way!

^Above^ - Distant shots of the Merlin!

^Above^ - Wigeon (and a Snipe!) are put up by the passing Sparrowhawk (Not in picture)

^Above^ - Little Grebe

^Above^ - Golden Plover flying in formation