3rd May 2015
It had been pouring with rain all morning, but then brightened up so where to go? Rye Meads seemed a good bet as, although the eight Black Terns that had been present there in front of the Draper Hide had moved on, the two Greenshank were still there, at least at 12.00pm. But of course by the time I arrived they too had gone.
The water levels in front of Draper are still quite high so there are no exposed islands close in and therefore I spent the next half an hour hoping for the shanks to appear from behind an island or reeds at the back. It was during this vigil that I noticed a bird of prey heading straight towards the hide and a quick look through the bins revealed it to be a Hobby.
Now in my experience it appears that nobody has told birds of prey that if the fly over the top of a hide they are impossible to photograph, so therefore before it got too close I shot out of the hide and on to the ramp so that I had unlimited access to the sky. Just as well as by now it was circling overhead and I managed to grab a few rather rushed shots.
Time to move on and a quick phone call to Jay Ward revealed that although seven of the Black Terns that had re-located to Nazeing Mead had moved on, one was remaining and was flying around the middle of the lake by the sailing club. And yes, I can now confirm that most of the time the bird was fairly distant as can be seen by it sitting on its favourite buoy which I measured on Google Earth as being the best part of 200 yards from the shore, the lake being 530 yards wide.
However, once or twice it did come a little closer to the bank allowing a few record shots to be taken.
So no Greenshank after all, but Hobby and Black Tern by way of compensation.
I can live with that!!