(CLICK ON A PIC AND IT WILL GO BIG)
Full team today however due to the weather being a bit, well, summery, we played it safe and went by car. Maybe somewhere a little different? Damn right we did. Hamwall VP2 was looking lovely in the intermittent sun!! Ok maybe not that different but we were walking. I can count on one hand the number of times I've walked through Hamwall. So that makes it a bit different doesn't it?
Parking up at the Sharpham end James started the day with a bit of bravado. There was an insignificant little brown bird on top of one of the telegraph poles. Just for the hell of it he walked right up to it and snapped away. The point being that if you really want to get that bird on a pole and slowly reached for your camera it will instantly fly away. Since he wasn't really bothered this thing stayed put. And look what he got!
Anyway it was just as well since we saw our first Hobby of the year and a Kingfisher whizzing over the tree tops. This was going to be the annual EFRS 'Take as many pictures of Hobbys as you can in one day' trip. This time we were fully equipped with our super duper 400mm lenses and uber fast cameras. It was going to be rich pickings.
Unfortunately that was the only Hobby we saw for a while. We admired the view and kept an eye on the dark clouds coming ever closer. A bright spot was a Bittern just passing through and a Marsh Harrier, Buzzard and Crow all having a bit of a go at each other.
Our first Hobby of the day
Marsh Harrier, Buzzard and Crow having a difference of opinion
Bittern from VP2
Male Marsh Harrier
In a lull this was on James' Bag. It would be better but the bag and camera and Mite were all moving at once
The rain was coming
We had decided to move on and drive elsewhere as soon as it looked like rain. Unfortunately the rain came before we could move so we ended heading for the nearest dry spot which is the small hide along the Visitors Trail. We seldom go there but needs must and..... its different. And what did we find in this hide? Only our old mate and fellow 'Who can take the most pics of interesting things in front of famous monuments' competitor Robin Morrison. It was good to meet him as usual and joviality ensued. This is when the Hobbies really started to show. In between the rain they were really giving a display. James at one point suggested we should perhaps keep the laughter down since it may scare the wildlife.
I left the big guns to staring at the sky and did the macro thing.
On look out duty
But they returned and the the big guns were once again three.
He's behind you
There were a pair of Great White Egrets close by.
This is an Adult Peregrine spotted by James. Thanks to NPW for verification. I'll get my coat.
I must just warn you at this point. There now follows rather a lot of pictures of Hobbys. As I said today was about quantity not quality. There are a few other things intermingled but if you have seen enough pictures of Hobbys to last you a lifetime and know exactly what they look like I suggest.....
Go do something less boring instead.
However if you DO want to see some amazing award winning, worthy of publication in the Daily Telegraph, stunning pictures of Hobbys I suggest you go visit Robin Morrisons' Twitter and Flicker pages because a) He knows what he's doing and b) He's got a bigger lens and better camera than us.. Otherwise feel free to continue through the repetitive mediocrity..............
The rains came
While all this was going on there were two Cuckoos calling to each other. Often the calls coincided which made for an entertaining mix. One did fly across the reeds for all to see but I failed to get a pic. I think they eventually got a room. One Bittern called occasionally and a Male Marsh harrier made a quick show. Otherwise it was all these darlings...........
The rains went
The rains came again
A Moorhen in a tree. Not a common sight
One of the hazards of getting flying birds in a hide.
And it appears on the other side
Can you see the pray?
The rains were coming yet again
You scrolled down to the end without looking at all the pictures didn't you! Tut tut. Go back and start again and this time look at them ALL. We'll know! There'll be a test.
So the big Hobby day was done. I'm sure we will have another hopefully with better weather but for now we're pretty much hobby'ed out! Who am I kidding you can't have too many Hobby pictures!
And by the way, count yourselves lucky we took over a thousand between us!
I was back at VP2 Hamwall today (The post happened yesterday) and This Egyptian Goose flew low right at the back. Not seen one of those before at Hamwall!!