Thursday, 13 August 2015

My Annual Green Sandpiper Fix

4th August 2015

It is that time of year again when I am drawn to Lemsford Springs for my annual Green Sandpiper fix. This small reserve is always impeccably managed and even in early August all the tall vegetation had been cleared providing commanding views across the watercress beds. The first bird to catch my eye was a moulting adult Grey Wagtail which initially was a little too far away for a photo. However, it eventually moved closer and allowed a few shots to be taken.

Another Lemsford speciality is the Stock Dove which can often be seen sitting up in the trees at the back of the reserve. However, due to the amount of dry seed they eat, they will often come down on to the cress beds for a drink. Unfortunately this particular individual was keen to keep his back to me.

But I digress, as the main reason for coming to Lemsford Springs today was to photograph the Green Sandpipers that are so common here, and I wasn't going to be disappointed. There were three birds present although a lot of coming and going and as I was concentrating on photographing them, I had no idea whether they were the same birds or not. All I know is that two of the birds were colour-ringed and one wasn't. Barry, you need to get up earlier.

But the most unexpected star of the day was this superb male Kingfisher which flew in and initially took up position on an Elder bush on the other side of the cress birds. At this point I moved up to the InFocus hide which gave me a closer position in better light.

Then, almost as if it knew, it flew to the perch in front of the first hide where I had been originally. I quickly legged it, breaking all Lemsford records on the way, and managed to arrive in time for some shots on the nearer perch. Absolutely magic!!

Needless to say I went home very satisfied and look forward to my annual pilgrimage next year.

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