Back to today and on my way out to the Beardies I had a quick check for the Kingfisher but it is now 10 days since it was last seen so the cold has without doubt moved it on so I thought….
I heard the Beardies as soon as I arrived although couldn’t see them. They were calling from two different areas of the reedbed so it seemed like there could be a few birds present. I positioned myself with the sun behind me and a good view of the reeds and over the course of the next hour and a half heard a few pings but didn’t see any birds. I don’t always know when to call it quits but this time timed my quits just right. Walking back I suddenly heard a lot of pinging and saw a group of more than four birds flying over the reeds. I picked up the pace and positioned myself ahead of them and then they appeared in the reeds right by me. They were not bothered by my presence at all and fed in the open for many minutes. There were four females and two males but frustratingly the males were far shier than the females and didn’t show as well and never came out into the warm sunlight to pose. It was an incredible experience to be so close to them and they were also calling frequently adding to the sensual experience. I had the tripod with me (which I even used!) and was torn between taking pictures and video although spent quite a bit of time on video as that better captures the whole experience with these brilliant little birds. I’ve got a bit of a job ahead of me to go through all the digital matter I have now transferred to my hard drive but hope there will be some good video. I am definitely happy with the pictures I got. It is not possible to be certain but I believe there was also another group in the reeds in a different spot based on the pinging I had heard earlier but can’t be sure given how quickly the birds can move unseen through the reeds.With my boots filled I headed back to the car and thought I would look just one more time for the Kingfisher and guess what it was there J On one of those rare occasions I saw it first and it actually flew off without calling although during the next half an hour it did call a couple of times and showed in flight once. It was clearly looking for food in the few areas of open water within the reedbed and was an incredibly difficult bird to pin down although I did eventually manage an obscured picture through the reeds. Whilst trying to see the Kingfisher I heard what was probably a Pine Grosbeak flying over but it was just a bit too distant for me to be sure what I was hearing. With luck though this is just the first bird of a new invasion (wishful thinking).
|female Bearded Tit (skjeggmeis). Taken at around 5metres range in the sun!|
|male Bearded Tit in the shade|
|three females and a male|
|The Kingfisher (just!)|
|having a preen in the sun|
|its always great to see them clambering around likes monkeys|
|four females and a male|
|the two males in the background|
|a Sparrowhawk (spurvehauk) being escorted out of the area by two crows|