10th May 2015
A last chance to see the Nightingales at Fingringhoe Wick before they start nesting, stop singing and are even more difficult to see. It was a nice sunny and calm day, so conditions were ideal. There were indeed several Nightingales singing, but as is often the case, from deep inside Brambles and bushes and I only got one glimpse of one bird which was partially obscured by an array of twigs and therefore no photographs.
However, by way of compensation there were lots of Whitethroats singing and fortunately these birds are far less reticent and are quite happy to sing away at the top of a bush or, as in this instance, a sallow twig.
So, as the day finished earlier than expected it was off to Abberton to see what the new hides were doing. The walk from the visitor centre brought the usual deafening chorus of singing Sky Larks, some of them cooperative enough to sit on a fence post to have their photo taken. This bird obviously saw something of concern overhead as he cocked his eye skyward. They say that Sky Larks are in decline but everywhere I go they seem to be doing well.
Now into Island Hide to see if any birds have ventured close since the water levels were raised. First up was a stunning pair of Shelduck that swan casually by with the drake looking very smart in the summer sun. Then, as if on cue, a Little Egret trotted past the window totally oblivious to his audience, although he did fly a few yards. The last two shots show him catching a small fish and tossing it back into his throat.
There were plenty of Common Terns around which were based on a nearby spit, but too far away for a photo. However, a couple of birds did eventually venture closer and took up position outside the left hand window of the hide, providing a few decent shots including some in flight.
But the star of the show today was this cracking male Garganey which was feeding in the water weed in the shallows. Initially it disappeared round the point but luckily came back in our direction and eventually within 25 yards of the hide. Garganey are difficult enough to find at the best of times and are then either asleep or a few hundred yards away, so this was an great result. Absolutely superb.