Saturday, 10 December 2011


What a chilly Winter's day today was! Having just finished another module in my long tour of the UK education system, I thought I was due a nice relaxing reward. Right on cue, I woke up this morning to be greated by a stunningly clear blue sky and a crisp breeze.

Lesson 1 of today: Buy some gloves.

As I strolled along the Thames path towards the wetland centre, Teals were nibbling at the waters edge in the low tide mud. I stopped to take a few snaps trying to capture their vivid colours against the streaked and channels muddy shore, but with little success correlating my limited effort - It must be warmer in the WWT hides!

I must say im one of those undesided people when it comes to the cold. Crisp winter days, beautiful light conditions and supreme clarity are all plus plus plus. But my hands numbing up so i can barely set up my camera let alone open my front door when I get home are big 'blehs.' I think spending some of my formative years in a desert made my developing circulation complacent about things to come.

But lets talk about some photography. Having dodged the crowds around the huskie rides and the stream of people heading off to see santa (located in a hut in the north america section!) I settled in the WWT hide. Much like my last visit, I started with the gulls. Less accrobatics today though, infact, there seemed to be much more discontent between our avian friends out on the lake. Perhaps they were chilly too? Moorhen was picked on by coot. Coot was picked on by black headed gull. Black headed gull was landed on by a passing herring gull. Herring gull sqwarked a bit sheepishly at a greater black backed gull. And the crows were up for a fight with anyone.

Life is easier as a duck I think. Whilst all this guffufull was going on the ducks tended to keep out the way and snooze. Moving over the the wader scrape, the somnolence of the ducks was uninterupted, and the light and colours of the reeds, teals and water plants was lovely to behold.

As I gazed out at this peacefull scene, I was given a real treat. Out from behind a reed bed came the first ever male Pintail that I have seen. Sadly, he never really came close enough for my lens to give him the credit he is due, but I managed to get a few half decent snaps of this truely elegant visitor.

Oh, and here is a snap of a teal showing off his colours....

With thoroughly numbed fingers, I headed home for lunch feeling dead chuffed with my Pintail spot. Lunch today was going to be AWESOME. Having hosted a Christmasy dinner the night before, there was a big bowl of leftovers waiting for me. As if sensing my festive mood, A robin popped out of a bush and settled on a fencce just a meter away from me. Sharing a few quizzical looks while I snapped his portrait, I almost felt like he was showing off just for my lens. A lovely end to the morning :)