I recently made a trip up the RSPB reserve at Leighton Moss hoping to photograph some Greenshank. However, the birds had different ideas and persisted in roosting or feeding out in the middle of the lake during my visit. So I had to change to Plan B and spent most of the visit photographing Little Egret.
It was an early start from home as I made the 90 minute journey northward to try and arrive for first light. I was first to arrive in the hide and was greeted by approximately 40 Little Egrets just coming to life. This first photograph is before the sun had reached sufficient height to get above the low hill behind and with the lack of wind was a serene scene.
The sun slowly crept skyward and its first appearance bathed the lake in wonderful golden light.
A solitary passing curlew was also caught in the orange glow.
as were a small group of Greylag Geese.
However, despite these passing distractions I stayed firmly focused on the Little Egrets. The rising success of this species in the UK is notable. The appearance of a single bird 35 years ago would have caused a stir amongst the rare bird fanatics and here was I looking upon a group of 40 on a single lake.
No fish is safe from the lightning accurate strike of an egret.
Unfortunately a small group of noisy people entered the hide which disturbed the birds are saw them flying off across the adjacent fields. For some peculiar reason many people seem to think that because they are rendered virtually invisible within a hide, they are also made inaudible to birds. To me and the birds, a happy hide is a quiet one.
The birds did eventually slowly return but by this time the golden light had become more harsh with the ascending sun. The great enjoyments of photographing egrets is they are very elegant and active birds when feeding. So I will finish this post of with a selection of flight photos and generally dashing around in the shallow water.
Overall a really enjoyable session and obviously there was no disappointment on my part at having not managed to photograph my target species that day.