Having got my new 500mm lens I was dead keen to get out and use it, but it was a bit of a blow as the weather conspired against me, a really murky morning interspersed with heavy rain, but nevertheless got to Martin Mere and dodged the rain from hide to hide. The only downside to the poor light conditions was only being able to use low shutter speeds which meant the photos were not as crisp as I wanted, but there will be other days. I was hoping to see a Woodcock that had been recently seen there, I am not sure but I think one did fly over me but I couldnt swear if it was or a snipe. Got a fleeting glimpse of a Water Rail, but nothing else spectacular. But I love Martin Mere, and could spend hours watching the Whooper Swans. Got chatting to one of the volunteers who pointed out a Whooper (T47) who has reached the grand old age of 19 and still going strong, thats some going making the annual trip from Iceland and back for the last 19 years.
The morning didnt start well with heavy rain, but the forecast said it would improve!
One of this years juvenile Whooper Swans
The Mere was still mostly frozen over, one way to keep one foot warm!
When they are stood like this they look such a proud bird.
Landing on one of the small unfrozen parts of the Mere.
Lots of Whoopers coming in for the additional lunchtime feed.
Majestic birds in flight
Air breaks on for an ice landing!!
A bit of mutual bonding
Not very easy to slow down when landing on the ice
As I mentioned above this Whooper T47 is 19 years old, she doesnt look it.
Feeding on the grain put out and on the potatoes.
The afternoon saw the weather and light improve slightly, and the sun on this Shoveller really shows off its colours.
As it turned its head you get a real appreciation of a bill developed for its purpose of sifting for its food.
I saw lots of tree sparrows today, but all were skulking in the undergrowth which posed a challenge to get a picture in the poor light, ok but could have been sharper!
Stumbled on this rather tame Pheasant, previous experience has shown me that they are off when they see or hear you coming.
Last photo for this post is a beautiful Duck which posed nicely on the ice for me, a Pintail.