Saturday, March 04, 2006

Frozen Woodwalton

I had a brilliant early morning in the frost today (4.3.06). I headed down to Woodwalton Fen, which is always at its best when frozen (at least at this time of year). On the way, I passed Holme village and slammed the breaks on to enjoy a pair of Grey Partridges just by the side of the road. These are rather scarce locally, so always a treat and looking magnificent in the low morning sun.
The Great Raveley Drain was frozen solid when I arrived at Woodwalton, and a Kingfisher was perched on the concrete bridge over the only bit of open water – an ideal opportunity for digiscoping. Here are a few of my best shots. Click for monsters.

After filling a couple of memory cards, I went into the reserve itself and immediately had a close view of a ringtail Hen Harrier being mobbed by a couple of crows.
The reserve itself was buzzing with small birds. In a month's time the woods will ring with the sound of Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps . Today, though, the woods reonated with two distinct sounds – the drumming of Great Spotted Woodpeckers and the compelx song duets of Siskins, dozens of them.
I photographed one of several Muntjacs I bumped into. I presume it is a doe, as it is antlerless.

In my favourite woodepcker spot I watched a pair of Great Spotteds courting with curious snake-charmed twitst of the neck. I stood and listened (without success) for Lesser Spotteds, and as I stood still a Weasel popped out from the base of a tree a few yards away (sorry, not photos).
I wandered back to the mers thinking that it was a pretty superb morning, when I flushed Woodcock, one of my favourite birds.
Back at the meres I counted 140 Teal on Rothschild's and finished my photography off with a shot or two of a pair of Dabchicks.

After a couple of minutes enjoying Lesser Redpolls at the entrance Iwas off, but as I passed Holme Fen once more, I picked up a Red Kite close to the road. As I said, a great morning.
All photos Canon Powershot A95 with Kowa 823 + 32xWLER

1 comment:

Roger B. said...

Superb pictures. That kingfisher looks really cold!