White, formless clouds filled the sky spreading dull, shadowless light across the land, hiding all texture and artistry in the landscape around me. The uninspiring light made it difficult to pick out the beauty in natures bounty today. The usual lurid, bright flash of blue as a Kingfisher darts past up river was turned dark, the vibrancy of autumns colours turned monochromatic in the dismal light of the day, no bright yellows and oranges, reds and chestnut, instead shades of dull brown.
|The dull grey of the day|
Walking the rivers path inspiration lacked a little as my feet walked the damp, dew soaked grass banks, even the bird life seemed muted today, rather than yesterday’s flocks of skylark and Redwing flying over single birds passed instead, although joined by the larger and louder rattles of Fieldfare.
Along the river a family of swans, two adults accompanied by a pair of mucky grey looking cygnets, swam the murky water, while Black-headed Gulls dived to catch unseen insects off the waters surface. A Few Mallards paddled slowly along the waters edge while a few Moorhen scrambled along the bank.
|Mute Swans Swimming the River Ouse|
Pausing by the Aqueduct to watch a Little Egret slowly scratching its way through the water, trying to kick up a fish or two. the day sprang to life as Redwing suddenly flew all over the sky erupting out of the surrounding trees as a male Sparrowhawk burst through the bushes and then began to circle slowly up into the skies above me.
|Little Egret sat in bushes|
|Fishing Little Egret|
|Sparrowhawk looking right|
The day was becoming a day of grey, black and white birds. It seems the monochrome feeling of the day was spreading into my photography and the further around the patch I walked the more my photographs followed that theme.
End of the Reserve
For a change I followed the rivers course until I reached the Eastern end of the Floodplain Forest Nature reserve but there was little activity, it seems the birds really were hiding today, the usual charms of Goldfinch were non-existent, Geese still seem to be missing and duck numbers remain low, in fact the only thing this walk did was to emphasise how much cutting back the scrub along the river path has opened up the reserve.
|A Magpie in the colours of Autumn|
Floodplain Forest Nature Reserve
The reserve itself was pretty poor as well. Walking between the three hides the only real bird of note was the Shelduck that had been around Monday. But was sadly distant in one of the hard to see pools. Again the hides are suffering with vandalism, and more was noted today. It’s a sad truth that the more litter we see the more we are likely to drop litter; and the more vandalism we see the more we are likely to commit more. It seems that a lack of swift action in fixing breaks (something all larger institutions like the parks trust, often cannot help) has lead to more damage being done. And I am sure at least two benches are now missing from the Farm Hide.
Little else managed to stir my interest as I continued home, bar another grey bird in the form of a Grey Heron that stalked the scrubby fields, before flying off low across the path.
|Grey Heron stalking the fields|
|Grey Heron in flight|
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