17th October 2014
Another quiet day at Rye Meads, so some time to concentrate on some action shots. At the Gadwall Hide a couple of swans were chasing around and, as luck would have it, were coming in to land into the wind right in front of the hide, always looking like a crash landing with plenty of spray. How helpful is that?
Back at the Draper Hide I had a most unusual visitor. As far as I can remember, in all the years I have been coming here, I cannot recollect seeing a Cormorant in front of this hide. But there it was, swimming just outside the hide, and then hauled itself out for a bit of wing-stretching as is their normal pose.
Gadwall were also very active, with several pairs taking off for a few circuits before coming into land, some in front of the hide.
However, instead of what others may suppose, gearing up for next year's breeding season starts now with the males trying to look their best with much chasing around and bathing to keep their feathers in trim.. If you watch ducks for long enough you can get a sixth sense of when they are likely to launch into a bathing/wing-flapping routine and can get you camera ready for the action. It all starts with a ruffing of the feathers and then standing up in the water and a good old shake of the wings.