Broad Bodied Balcombes and Hobbies Hawking

The sun was out.  The air was warm so I thought I would get out for a bit rather than brood in the house (thats when the madness can get you... yes I'm still crazy).

Still, a good jaunt to Westhay was on the cards.  I was hoping for Hobbies or maybe even a Cuckoo (you might as well go and see Carl Bovis for one of those...)

The air was alive with screaming Water Rails and babbling warblers.  Eventually I made my way to the raised hide.  I had to wait for a bit as it was a one in one out situation.

Inside were Jerry Hawker (Mr Dragonfly with a surname to match) and Steve Balcombe who is now known as Broad Bodied Balcombe.  Another fellow with a large lens was in there as well but I cant remember his name.  He had some nice Hobby pics.

Jerry informed me that I had missed the Bearded Reedlings (again).

Luckily a Marsh Harrier did come a bit closer than normal.

Slightly better than normal

There were 3 floating about the place, along with a few Hobbies.  But they were not happy about coming anywhere near the hide.

I did feel a little under equipped and slightly intimidated amongst all these giant Nikon/Canon lenses and Manfrotto tripods.  There was plenty of talk about equipment I had never heard of.  Interesting all the same.

A couple of Hobbies did come a little bit closer and I managed one half decent shot

Slightly better than normal

Soon the dynamic trio left the hide (after I helped Jerry with his heavy equipment and winter woollies (it was 20 degrees!).
I was left alone with the Hobbies and a booming Bittern.  Sadly I was too slow to get a swimming Grass snake slithering through the water.

A little later another fellow popped in who looked very much like Lee Dutton.  I shall call him Lee Dutton MKII.    Anyway Lee Dutton MKII knew lots about birds and immediately pointed out a female Cuckoo call - something I have never heard.  I cant really describe really - you will just have to google it.  I just thought they all went "Cuckoo, cuckoo".  You learn something new everyday.

Time was getting on so I headed back to the car, here I was greeted by the thundering beats of Dubstep echoeing out of a a small Citreon car.  Not quite the sounds of the countryside.  I dont think the yoofs were interested in bird spotting but they were enjoying themselves nontheless.

Sadly I dont think the Cuckoos liked it much, any chance of seeing one  quickly evaporated.  Hopefully some more will appear soon along with more Hawking Hobbies and Broad Bodied Balcombes Chasers.


  1. Haha, loved the name-check! :D
    Great pics as always..... and Leicester are still Champs!!

  2. Cheers Carl and congrats on 2nd. Wouldn't like to be a Spurs fan at the mo! Happy St Totteringham's Day