I set out with an aim today, I have noticed recently that the Coot are getting aggressive to one another and I wanted to try and capture the fighting, it is quite a spectacle to see two placid looking birds suddenly go at it hammer and tongs, feathers flying as the try to kick each other out of the lake with their enormous green feet. But as they say “The best laid plans of mice and men often go stray” today the coot were back to their placid state even though the sun was shining and it felt more like spring than winter.
Coots and Little Grebe
So without fighting coot to focus on I decided to see what I could photograph coot doing, and I’ll be honest I got some lovely shots today, the first (above) is just a really nice coot showing it’s details really well, but they images became more artistic as I went on – as an aside my photography of birds has progressed from trying to capture a true image of a bird to far more artistic, in fact often the bird isn’t the highlight of the image. Anyway I will just show you now the coot pics I got, and continue with my day after:
Anyway, I’ve talked about my plans and how they didn’t pan out but the real aim I guess was just to get out in the sunshine and see what was about, I wasn’t planning a long one (to be quite honest I’m knackered, on my night shifts I’ve been cleaning my mums house in preparation for sale), first bird when leaving the house was a Lesser Black-Backed gull (actually 7) seems they are increasing as I saw a few more later on as well.
I headed to the duck feeding platform (which is where I started photographing the Coots) and as well as the a fore mentioned Eurasian Coot, there were the regular Mallard, Canada Goose, Black Headed Gull, and Moorhen as well as three swimming Cormorant. It was alos here that I found a rather confiding Dunnock.
From here I continued round without seeing much until I reached the small link lake between the two main lakes, this is often a nice spot to stop and I was rewarded by Kingfisher and 3 Little Grebes that dived in amongst the over hanging bushes, tantalizing me with their presence without really coming out into the open (see photos below).
|Hiding Little Grebe (in near summer plumage|
|More winter plumage Little Grebe|
|hiding in the bushes|
Great Crested Grebe
After a frustrating half an hour they moved off (still hidden) and dispersed to the main lake (I did see them later but the usual distance away rather than nice and close like above), I continued around still not seeing much when a flock of Herring Gulls alerted me to their presence by calling loudly above me (it always reminds me of the sea that call!), a quick stop by the fishermans island didn’t reveal the water rail I was hoping for but allowed me some nice photos of displaying Great Crested Grebes.
|The Dance Begins|
|Regal sunlit mute swan|
Today’s full list of species:
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