Birds in the Mist

Birds in the Mist

I think I am a little strange sometimes, I love birding in the mist and fog, I know it is much harder to see your quarry, but there is something wonderfully ethereal watching and waiting in anticipation as the wildlife slowly emerges out of the ghostly haze, or as the mist lifts and the world suddenly becomes real again. There is nothing that quite amplifies sound as well as a deep fog either, Grebe calls that were once harsh become melancholic, a Mallards laughing call takes on a more sinister tone. The mystery and the promise of a foggy morning in spring is hard to beat.

And so it was with that in mind that I set out to the lake today, the air was thick with fog visibility was patchy and sometimes very low and I was eager with anticipation that I would be able to capture the grebe photo that has been in my mind for quite a while (my last two, Jan & Feb, month end reviews will show you how much I had been thinking of it).


Arriving at the lake the fog was actually a little thick, it was hard to spot anything at all, but slowly the sun performed it's magic and began to burn off the vapour and little by little the birds started to emerge, and so I settled down to try and capture what was in my head. I'm not quite sure I got the image I was after but I'm pretty pleased with the results (sorry there are quite a few versions on here, please do let me know your favourite, I like the Mallards and the 2nd Grebe shot best I think, but I'm not sure they work well in small, I can see them large on a wall somewhere!). I managed to photograph, Great-crested Grebe, Mallard and Coot all emerging from the fog (at various times).

Coot in the mist - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Coot in the mist - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes

Coot in the mist - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Coot in the mist - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes

Great-Crested Grebe in the Mist - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Great-Crested Grebe in the Mist - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes

Great-Crested Grebe in the Mist - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Great-Crested Grebe in the Mist - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes

Great-Crested Grebe in the Mist - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Great-Crested Grebe in the Mist - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes

Great-Crested Grebe in the Mist - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Great-Crested Grebe in the Mist - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes

Mallards in the mist - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Mallards in the mist - Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Whilst waiting for my shot, I was very pleased to be able to connect with and listen to a singing Chiffchaff (my first in full song this year) I actually ended the day with around five singing birds dotted around the patch, I love this and it really reminds me that spring is now fully underway.

By now the sun was really burning off the mist so I decided to head down the river and try and get some more shots of the Long-tailed Tits, they are such a lovely bird, and their nest location allows me to relax and see what passes down the river.

Bullfinch, Male, Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes
Bullfinch, Male, Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes

Long-Tailed Tit, Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes
Long-Tailed Tit, Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes

Long-Tailed Tit, Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes
Long-Tailed Tit, Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes

Long-Tailed Tit, Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes
Long-Tailed Tit, Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes

Long-Tailed Tit, Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes
Long-Tailed Tit, Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes


Before long the tits were coming and going freely and I soon had some great shots, but while waiting I had some wonderful views of Kingfishers as they flew up and down the river, a pair of Bullfinches are also frequenting the area and passing Grey Wagtail and Goldcrest are always nice (I also had my first view of Chiffchaff here) but the best was yet to come!

Long-Tailed Tit, Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes
Long-Tailed Tit, Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes

Long-Tailed Tit, Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes
Long-Tailed Tit, Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes


While relaxing and watching the little balls of fluff that are the long-tailed tits bringing in feathers and pieces of moss to complete their nest (it is looking good to me now) I heard the unmistakable double cough of a Pheasant (Well actually I have quite often thought "was that a pheasant only to realise it was a moorhen, but when you hear the real thing you just know!) This is a new patch tick for me number 80 for me and 66 for the year!

Long-Tailed Tit, Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes
Long-Tailed Tit, Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes

Winter Wren - Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes
Winter Wren - Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes



Please feel free to leave me a comment, I really appreciate the interaction and will reply as soon as I can. I apologise for any issues with posting comments, but sometimes Google's blogger platform plays up.

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4 comments:

  1. What stunning pics... ALL of the misty ethereal shots are to be proud of... especially the coot, and the LTT are such cute birds but my favourite is deffo the wren... such under rated birds and so busy they can be hard to capture.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks dad :) the wren is quite heavily cropped would not be printable unfortunately (well not that close)

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  2. Beautiful photographs made me feel serene and calm !

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