Sunday 28 January 2024

Not close and no cigar

Having seen a lovely photo of what seemed to be a very friendly Scaup from a gravel pit in Kent, Mick and I made plans to go and get better ones. Hah! Fat chance. We did find the bird, a Kent tick no less, but whoever the photographer was had been extremely lucky with the bird in close. We had no such luck on what we hadn't realised was a pretty big lake, with the bird staying steadfastly right in the middle! I won't bother posting my distant effort here, even with the 800mm and converter it was a dot. Most birds remained distant, a boat would have been excellent.....but I got a couple of photos of a slightly closer Great Crested Grebe that are blog-worthy. Still - and something I am beginning to appreciate more and more - it was nice to be somewhere new and different. Once upon a time I was somewhere different every other weekend and I remember it being fun. These days I am usually at home, yawn - I blame the pandemic for changing my pattern of behaviour semi-permanently. Need to break out of it, get back to day trips, get the camera out more often. I used my tripod today, a rare event, but I have to say that it makes it a lot easier. It's just bulky, heavy, annoying, painful.....

After dropping Mick back I crossed over the river and went to Rainham - my starting game plan for this weekend. It was great to be back, I should go more. I spent a bit of time on the sea wall and a bit at the top of the ramp. Pick of the birds were 50+ Avocet in Aveley Bay, and a pair of Raven on Purfleet. I left about 20 minutes before a Goshawk flew over.... Can't complain, it wasn't that long ago that Raven was a Rainham tick, number 198 to be exact. I'm on 201 now, a decent total for a single site, even it is the best site in London. Wanstead isn't that far behind in raw numbers, but it'll never compete with river.

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