Sunday, 19 December 2010

Bitter(n)ly Cold

You ain't seen me, right!

I received a phone call from CB early on Saturday afternoon, he had arrived a chilly Cresswell Pond and found that the bittern was squatted low in cut reeds immediately in front of the hide. Too tempting to miss, I headed straight up. To my delight, the bittern had remained put ... and it continued to do so for the next 2 hours!

Amazingly camouflaged in the reeds, the bittern was very tricky to see with the naked eye - the bird was flat to the ground, and only occasionally moved its' head as it looked around.

As the light faded late in the afternoon, the bittern became more active (well, it lifted itself up a bit). High ISO had to be utilised (up to 1600) and exposure was down to 1/40th for the last image taken... Annoyingly the bittern never quite came out of cover, and the majority of images taken include the obligatory "reed in front of beak".

Nonetheless, it was great to be back out with the 500mm ... all images today were without the use of any extender ~ a quick scan through the RAW images seems to suggest that the repair has been successful. Phew!

Six whooper swan came into roost 9on the frozen expanse that is usually the pond), a water rail squealed behind the hide, and as we left, a barn owl was hunting over the dunes. Woodcock were seen in flight over the car on both journey to and from...

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