Saturday, 10 March 2012

A Favourite Reserve

Friday March 9
I only wish it was a bit nearer home, the price of petrol is hitting home.
Sculthorpe Moor is mainly old woodland with some open fen and a tributary of the river Wensum. The area beyond the river shows evidence of more clearing work every time we go.
Stopping to photograph the delightful Scarlet Elf Cap fungi - the largest no more than a couple of inches across - my camera told me 'no card'. Puzzling, because I always leave the hatch open when I've removed it. Despite my protestations, Pam went back to the car to get one. I sat on the nearest seat and watched a large feeder the other side of a stream where Goldfinches, 5 Lesser Redpoll, one a splendid male,  and a Marsh Tit squabbled for position. A Treecreeper flitted about, me anxiously watching for Pam to return as it was a month tick! Eventually she did, the bird flew off and she had been looking for a battery....... I opened my camera to put in the card from my Powershot which she'd thoughtfully brought....and there was a card in place !! That's why the compartment wasn't open. Technology eh?

Scarlet Elf Cap. Pam's photo. It's better than mine
After photographing the fungi, we walked on to view the clearing across the river, hoping for raptors. Two Common Buzzards gave a short display before disappearing, a lone Kestrel the only other raptor.
On to Fen Hide, in my experience the best place to photograph some of the commoner birds and one or two desirable others. It held four well spread people but we were soon able to move into a favourable position near the feeding table.
This is part of the view from the hide window.

Some of the photographs I took in a most enjoyable hour.

A very ginger female

Amost dependable views of a Water Rail here in the winter.

The sun came out..backlighting changes the colours. I read recently that Gigrin farm (Red Kite centre in Rhayader) have built special photography hides where the light is always correct for photography. Tell the RSPB, especially at Titchwell where it's always wrong.

Is this a first summer male? Still not in full plumage whilst others are.
I still haven't managed a good Greenfinch pic, the best of an average bunch........

On the return journey, after a diversion to view a Tawny Owl box near Fen Hide, ( we'd heard a bird call, no sighting though), I tried to photograph the gently, partially rotating, feeder where the Lesser Redpoll were feeding. I wanted the male really but never saw the full bird, it was either the tail or the head.
 It's my first photo of a Lesser, greatly cropped....better views and results required.

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