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Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Sand Martins!

Considering British Summer time is officially with us this Sunday, the weather has been cold and atrocious in the UK for the last couple of weeks! It even tried snowing in Somerset today! Luckily we haven't had any of the severe snowfall and drifts that Northern England, Scotland and Ireland have suffered.
    One of the first Summer migrants to arrive on our shores is the Sand Martin, and bodies of water at this time of year is the best place to see them. I popped into Cheddar Reservoir and there were between 10 and 20 of these little birds hunting flies over the water and bordering grassy fields, they seemed oblivious to me and were flying low around my legs! I'd never been so close to Sand Martins in my life!
  Trying to photograph these incredibly fast and agile flyers was proving extremely difficult to say the least! Focusing on them is almost impossible when they are flying so low, there are too many background distractions that the camera focuses on instead, grass, fences, trees, walls! I persevered though and despite having a couple of hundred blurry attempts, I did manage a couple of pretty decent shots! That is the beauty of digital photography, you can just delete the poor pictures, no harm done! It's worth it to catch just one good shot!
  On the reservoir, quite close to the shore, was a Great Crested Grebe. It was diving regularly, so I lay on my stomach and waited for it to surface. Luckily it came up right in front of me, having caught a Fish! I managed to fire off a few shots, despite my discomfort!! :-)

Below are some of the pictures;

^Above^ - Sand Martins

^Above^ - Great Crested Grebe and catch!

^Above^ - Tufted Duck