It was a pretty good day over all. It started with the usual waiting around for James to get his arse into gear but eventually we made it off down the road for an EFRS adventure. Question was where to go on a wonderful dull and grey-ish day. I mean what more do you want for birding and photography!
Being that quiet time of year there wasn't much to choose from. We could follow the crowd and head to Greylake. That's where its all happening at the m but we don't roll like that. We prefer to go the opposite way. With that ethos in mind we we couldn't think of anywhere to really go so headed over to Westhay to see if we could see the Cattle Egret. Like no one else has done that recently have they now!
So off we went and indeed did end up crawling along past the fields just by the entrance. There were plenty of Egrets to choose from. James scanned and counted while I tried not to drive into ditches. Little, little, little, little, little, little, little, little, little, little, little, little, little. It wasn't there.
Where next? Could it be over at Tealham? Haven't been there for a bit. Lets go. Nope nothing but a few herons flying around.
Nice pair of Ravens caught our eye.
Heron bringing in the tea
James took exactly the same pictures. We often do this.
James doing a bit of Arty stuff
We bit the bullet and headed through Westhay ending up at the raised hide.
Almost looks like a reflection!
It was all getting a bit flat to tell the truth. We often have quiet days but they usually perk up. This Cormorant help a little but we needed more.
This sign caught our eye. Sarcasm?
This was nailed to a tree along London Drove. The digger was busy clearing the trees from his patch of land. Now this isn't good in our books. We lamented the loss of trees, the noise and fumes, the general destruction and what about London Drove? Will there be great lorries lumbering up and down as the drain the land of its soil? Good luck with any Fire Crests that brave returning. Wear a hi-vis and brush up on your green cross code! Anyone know whats afoot? Are we jumping the gun? Is it all going to be alright? Will no one think of the children? We could hear the tearing apart of the trees as we walked for ages.
When will it all end????
This chap wasn't impressed either
With the sounds and sights of maddening and willful destruction still seared on our senses we wandered back to the car. Not much else to do really. To late to go far a field, might as well call it a day. We'd had a relaxing, too relaxing as I was nodding off, along London Drove. James suggested just having one last look for the Cattle Egret. Couldn't hurt I suppose so we did.
Now not a lot had changed since James had a close scan of the Egrets earlier. A total of over eighty years between us and we didn't see it. We stopped by this kid and asked him if 'it' was there. "Yeah its in the field here" We stopped and snapped!
Two points to make at this moment. Have a look at the yoof above. What do you see? Thats right, he's writing. More precisely he's drawing, making sketches of the Egrets. How wonderfully old school is that. the lad is making notes, you know just like in the olden days when pen and paper was rife. We had a chat, he wasn't into photography and couldn't afford one. His solution, he drew them. We agreed as to how much more notice you would take if you concentrated so much on all the details. As James and I drove off we both agreed he was a Mr Riley incarnate. Mr Riley would have been proud. It was a good job Mr Riley wasn't there, it could have got embarrassing!
And my second point? Take a look at the two pictures below. What do you see? Yes a Cattle Egret a bit too far away and in bad light taken by two amateurs. In other words by a couple of real working class heroes. Non of your bourgeoisie with their elitist big lenses and flashy snappy cameras. No these are the photographs of the people for the people by the people brothers (and sisters as you are awfully clever and can take pictures just as good as some men, well done). There are some photographs flying around the t'internet at the moment that are, well, not to pull any hare punches, are just too good. I find them offensive to be honest. I'm deeply offended by there brilliance. They should be banned and an apology made. It's my right to be offended and so I will. The pictures below are honest and true with (ok a touch of Lightroom but hey who doesn't) all the reality of working class life. We use the glass of the lower class, we are the Proletariat..............
James being arty again
James spotted this. We think it's a Greater Spotted Woodpecker given the red rump. Any ideas?
And a Great White Egret to complete things
The young lad mentioned the Ring Necked Duck over on Glastonbury Heath. Having lived in Glastonbury for over seven years I have no idea where it is but the yoof gave us brief directions. We set off and immediately turned left. We were lost but James bagged this Heron through the window.
We were driving round with no idea. All we knew was the Tor was in front. We were on course. It began to look familiar. I knew where we were. We were heading for the Sheppy! A quick call to let everyone know we were going to be 'a bit late' and we had a pint in our hands leaning back and remarking on the successful day we had just had. !Ahhh this is the life".
We heard an odd call from a tree. Luckily I had brought my Manualfocusuk stuff in and could just about get it with my 135mm. I Googled the call and after a couple of tried we discovered it was a Siskin. Well done James.
It was indeed a good day. This usually happens. We start off with good intentions, it all goes a bit flat then it picks up and we get a good ending.
Oh and for those reading the bit about the down trodden working classes and were wondering...............