Sunday, 4 March 2012

Singing in the rain

Hanson Environment Centre - lifting fog
I haven't had a proper trip out with my camera for a couple of weeks - I managed 15 mins in the garden last weekend, photographing the insects uncovered by my pruning activities.  It's nice to see the insect numbers going up, although I suspect they'll be suffering today, as the grey rainy day turned to sleet early afternoon.
Yesterday I was out early and decided to try HESC again, getting early light direction, coupled with the remains of a foggy morning.  I hoped that the overnighting birds might be still around to see, but it was disappointingly quiet on the water and the bund.
The up side was the welter of birdsong to hear. The vegetation around the lakes supports a wide range of small birds and they were definitely enjoying the conditions.  I decided to spend some time in the woodland hide. On the way I crossed the raised walkway and got a good view of a particularly obliging dunnock who cooperated as I photographed his singing efforts.
At the hide I settled down after putting out some food to attract the locals. The usual common birds lined up watching me - great tits, blue tits, robins and chaffinch - all diving in before my back was turned.  I watched for a while as they fed, along with brief glimpses of one of the bank voles and a number of the ubiquitous grey squirrels. Eventually the stars turned up - I'm sure there were both Marsh tits and Willow tits - especially as a man turned up later and tried to educate me in the difference!  I thought I could see the points at the time, but looking at my pictures, I'm still not able to say with 100% confidence which is which :-(
I completed my trip round the area as the rain steadily increased - not a completely uneventful trip thanks to disturbing a person trying to break into a hide, but otherwise unexciting as far as the photo ops were concerned (no, I wasn't going to point a camera openly at the low-life- I was on my own! - but I did go get help!)
Despite the rain, the singing continued unabated. As I was leaving a pair of green woodpeckers flashed across the path ahead of me - I did manage to capture a shot of one as he landed in a tree deep in the copse - satisfying as I'd been hearing them all morning.
Green woodpecker - thinks I didn't see him

Singing dunnock

Marsh or Willow? (I think Willow!)

arriving robin

Marsh or Willow? I think Marsh!

Great tit among the catkins

grey squirrel

Marsh tit?


  1. Good capture of the aerobic Robin.
    An eventful day; I heard about the loony there.

    Marsh or Willow? I wouldn't even try lol

  2. Awesome photos of these wonderful birds. Great captures.

  3. You've captured some great images there Marilyn. Good luck with that Marsh or Willow question!![;o)