Sunday, 9 March 2014

Success with the Watervoles and Kingfishers at the Country Park

As the weather had been grey and very cold yesterday and I had failed with the water voles, I decided to revisit Cleethorpes Country Park this morning.  As the forecast was favourable, I was up and out at 6.00 am for the sunrise at 6.30. The sun was just  beginning to lighten the eastern sky, where the morning star, Venus, hung, shining brightly.  It was an absolute pleasure to have the world, even a busy country park, to myself as the sun rose majestically above the horizon.  Sadly, there were no clouds whatsoever to reflect the light of the rising sun, but it was a joy nonetheless.  Once the sun was up I made my way to the drain to try again for the water voles.  Today they were out in force busying themselves with feeding.  Although very confiding, they were surprisingly difficult to photograph; it is amazing how grass and dead stems from last year can intrude in the picture, spoiling a clean image.  Earlier the drain bottom was in deep shade although I was looking into the bright sun making things awkward and then when the sun rose high enough the light was very contrasty.  As is often the case bright overcast would have been preferable.  Still, we shouldn't complain about the warm weather, and warm it was, reaching 21.5 degrees; beautiful.  The kingfisher was much in evidence flying up and down the drain and I did manage one reasonable image but sadly with a busy distracting background.  Still a wonderful bird to watch however. Other birds of note included a hunting sparrowhawk which flew over a couple of times, little egrets(illustrated below) and curlew.
 I was also pleased to see several early butterflies on the wing: small tortoiseshell, peacock and brimstone (illustrated below).  Pussy willow is coming out and there is a flush of green on the hawthorns.  Spring would appear to have arrived, but I am sure we shall experience some cold weather yet.  It was a pleasure as well to meet up with several local photography friends who were all after the same subjects as myself; always good to compare notes and share stories.
To view large, click on an image.

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