Wednesday, 30 November 2011


It was a glorious, calm sunny morning and the tide was at rock bottom when I arrived at the small wood by the river today. Just the conditions to raise expectations for plenty of birds and maybe something out of the ordinary. And it certainly was out of the ordinary, because all I could see were a couple of Cormorants, nothing else, not even a gull. I couldn't understand it, i'd never seen it like this before, but as I scratched my head in consternation the answer suddenly arrived when the calm was shattered by a shotgun blast. It was close, very close, but I couldn't tell where it came from, I assumed the sunken marsh and so decided to exercise some discretion and avoid the river path around it.
I headed round the outside of the marsh and made my way to the mound thinking I might be able to see where he was. I couldn't, but as I looked I noticed a small flock of Mallards which circled above and tried to drop down to the river, then came another blast and I saw six fly off in panic and the seventh drop like a stone, I just hope it was dead before it hit the ground or the river.
I'd had enough now, I get no pleasure from seing birds blasted out of the sky, so I made my way over the railway to the country park and paid a visit to my old friend the Bittern. There's yet another long distance picture below.

The sun was still shining for a change so I looked in on the railway lake and 'shot' some ducks of my own. Gadwall first, Tufted Duck second and a Coot in attack mode third.

A couple of hours had now passed since the sad demise of the Mallard so I made my way back to the small wood to see if the usual inhabitants had returned. They had. In the half an hour or so that I spent there I saw a Grey Wagtail, three Redshanks, a flyover Snipe, a lonesome Teal, a Little Grebe, a Little Egret, two Mistle Thrushes, a Sparrowhawk and the Kingfisher below, perched on a pole on the other side of the river...... normality had returned. Long may it last.


Jason K said...

I much prefer your method of shooting birds Phil!

Sharon said...

Aaah the poor mallard :( Maybe the guy made the trip from Warren's patch!
Good that normality returned though and you still managed great pics.

Ken. said...

Hi Phil.
Yet another good day down the lakes, apart from shooting, yours is much better.
More nice photo's to brighten up your blog.
I hope you read Warrens blog about his camera equip.

Greenie said...

Phil ,
I was told that two Bittern were seen the other day , I feel another visit is imminent .
Nice shots , particularly the Tuftie . said...

The bittern,always a nice jewel to observe!

Warren Baker said...

You know my views on shooting wildlife Phil, I hope the blokes slips and blows his own feet off :-)

I'm so envious of your duck list there :-) even a coot here is a treat, as you probably know!!

Bob Bushell said...

Good pictures of the Gadwells, Coot, Tufted Duck and of couse, the Kingfisher, superb.