Friday, 2 December 2016


Friday December 2

There's something magical about Northern Swans. The first ones on the east coast marshes are few and transient, en route to Welney and /or Slimbridge. Yesterday, the  pager reported 20 Bewick's.
The drizzle was barely there when we left home after lunch. It gradually increased until it was like thick mist hanging on Ludham Marshes. Tree trimming in Ludham had meant an approach via Hall Road in Johnston Street, a detour much resented by Pam. It didn't look like an pfficial tree trimming operation, two men on a cherry picker and two men manning the cones either end. None of them wearing HighVis clothing nor looking 'official'. I think it was the imperious and impatient turn round hand signal from one of the men atop that got her going. 
Having identified a family of four Whoopers, two adults and two young, very distantly near the beginning of the track out to St Benets, we drove to the car park. A short scan, getting rather damp through the open car window, found four Fieldfare and two Grey Herons to add to the month list. No Cranes viewable in the murk and owls wouldn't be flying in this.  We drove back to the swans so that I could scope them from my side.
Two Bewick Swans on the left of the Mute Swan flock, the four Whoopers on the right. I turned up the ISA on my camera to 1.000 and gave it a go with my 3-600 lens. 
These are the only ones near respectable, much enlarged from an enlargement.

The Bewick's disappeared left when we weren't looking - I stopped photographing when Pam got out to photograph a tractor ploughing with hundreds of gulls in attendance. Then, the Whooper family and the one Pink-footed Goose present, exited right.

Ludham Bridge was not the flight destination, no swans at all there.

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