Monday, 19 January 2015

It's really all about Marsh Harriers

As I and others have reported, Greylake has been great recently. There have been several days when the light has sparkled and the wildfowl obliged by taking to the air. There have been Marsh Harriers and Peregrines too. I have visited as often as I could and it has been very rewarding. 

Two Shoveler come in for a tandem landing.
 

Another glides past the window.

There is also a flock of Pintail at the moment.

But great as Greylake is, I always find myself moving on after an hour or two to a quiet corner of Westhay reserve. Compared with Greylake, nothing, absolutely nothing, seems to be happening. Visitors come and take a brief look out of the window at the emptiness and quickly leave. But I am happy to gaze out of the window for hours. Very little comes into view, but there is enough for me. Like this Snipe resting in the middle distance.



And a serene Gadwall glides past in the same glowing, golden water.

But it is really all about the Marsh Harriers. They only show themselves very occasionally, and then not for long. But they are well worth being patient for. Sadly, however, they seem to have a very well established patrol circuit and this studiously avoids the vicinity of the observation hides. I have a large number of distant Harrier shots on my hard disk and I really do not need any more, but I cannot help myself from pressing the button.

But sometimes you just have to get lucky! On the very rare occasion a Harrier, possibly with something else on its mind, seems to forget to keep its distance from the hide.


In the flurry of activity that these fleeting appearances cause it is difficult to keep calm and my camera pointed in the right direction.















 So far the Harriers have not come so close as to overwhelm my 560mm lens, so in saying "close" I am talking in relative terms only. The prospect of a really close approach sometime in my life time however will be enough to keep me going back until I get that dream shot - oh what folly - but harmless enough.

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