Saturday, 17 May 2014

Elton Reservoir - White-winged Black Terns!!

Birding wasn't on the agenda for today, I've got so much to sort before an impending trip to Scotland :-) It wouldn't take much to get me in the car however and from the moment news of two White-winged Black Terns came out, the feet were getting itchier.... All morning in fact - would they fly off or stay? With everything that couldn't wait done by 1.00pm , I was on my starting blocks to Elton Reservoir!

Never trust a post code - I dutifully followed it and ended up in a 'no go' area, crossing a railway bridge constructed of sleepers and scaffolding poles - ending up  below the (wrong) bank of the reservoir!



Never mind, the Terns were on view within seconds where they stayed until dusk with me plus a few local birders making the most of 'the biggest Twitch Elton res has had'?? Here's the sequence of events.....

Purely year tick territory but nice to see two adults - they were a tantalising mix of too far vs too close at times and for me on the wrong bank - in the wrong place! Nevertheless with parking at the sailing club nigh on impossible, I stuck at it.....

Remember 'spot the ball' - using your skill and knowledge of birding - where's the Tern all these birders on the correct bank are eyes glued on?


Maybe I could refresh my skills at dinghy sailing and get closer?


I walked up the bank trying to improve on the light, I wasn't alone!


And got two lucky moments - here's the first.....


The only time I got reasonably close to the two 'in the frame'!


Plus one flying off!



(I'll finish the post with the other lucky moment!)

This was the only other decent shot......


By 5.00 pm I opted to drive the couple of miles around to the sailing club (it was only 200m as the Terrn flies!!) Crossing another Heath Robinson, fence post bridge!


Wishing I'd done this much earlier :-( Instantly getting more chances!




Difficult photography with the autofocus seeking out the background - many of these were focussed manually!





I trekked up to buoy no 8.....


Only to see a wingflap and away!


In all, the shutter clicked well over 1,000 times with many of the manually focussed rejects chimped away during the quieter moments! The local birders were a great crowd too - enjoyed the company!

Was it worth the trek? No question about it - birding is all about going to see, then enjoying good birds - summed up nicely by that second lucky moment (on the wrong bank) when it was too close! The autofocus managed to cope and somehow I got away with this near frame filler......


Yeah it was worth it...... And I'd do it all over again :-)

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