Saturday, 27 September 2014

An Autumn Visit to Lackford Lakes

10th September 2014

I thought a visit to Lackford Lakes would be worthwhile to hopefully connect with some migrant warblers. At this time of year I avoid the long trail around the mature lakes and concentrate on the area between the visitor centre and the double-decker hide. Here the ground is more gravelly with more stunted bushes and trees, and therefore any warblers or small passerines are easier to see and photograph.

We hadn't even reached Bernard's Hide when up to four Chiffchaffs were flitting around the bushes on the bank and occasionally coming to the edge of the cover to allow a few quick opportunities. Also, around the double-decker hide there was a lot more activity with Chiffchaffs calling from every bush. We did see the occasional Blackcap but they were keeping hidden, so the results of our efforts were a selection of reasonable Chiffchaff photos.

Meanwhile in the double-decker hide itself quite a few large lenses were waiting for the Kingfisher to appear and hopefully perform on one of the perches carefully positioned in front of the hide. After quite a long wait no Kingfishers had appeared and then one of the assembled crowd said that when the Kingfisher very occasionally did appear, it always came from the direction of Bernard's Hide. I waited for the mass exodus but nobody appeared to have picked on what had been said. Anyway, it was good enough for me so we hot-footed it down to Bernard's Hide and had to wait at least two minutes before the Kingfisher arrived and put on his display which was repeated every 20 minutes. As far as I am aware, the crowd in the double-decker hide are still waiting patiently.

Lackford Lakes is a well-managed reserve and lovely to just stroll round with a camera. So today we only managed to photograph two species but, judging by the quality, I think we've had worst days. But enough of that, now on to Cavenham Heath to see the autumn roost of  Stone Curlews........and a surprise!!!!

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