Arriving on site we were greeted by a mass (by BWR standards) of Swifts and House Martins swarming around the water treatment works. I reckoned about 50 Swift and 200+House Martins were busy hawking for insects along with smaller numbers of Swallows. I set about trying to capture some images of Swifts in particular but managed to have one of those hopeless half hours during which just about every shot was useless! Hopefully I'll learn from my mistakes and do better next time.
|Just about the only decent shot.
We could hear an Oystercatcher tootling away and then saw it flying towards one of the tern rafts (that have been almost completely taken over by gulls) but it was met with hostility by the occupying Black-headed Gulls and was moved quickly along. It was happily asleep on the rafts later though.
The Black-headed Gulls were also not amused when a Cormorant attempted to alight close to their chosen nest spot and one repeatedly dive bombed the intruding bird. I watched the altercation for a while before being distracted by a Great crested Grebe flying towards me. I've been trying to get a decent photo of one in flight for a while so took my opportunity.
|The "Grey" twins!
After the magnificent and slightly disturbing storms of Saturday night we returned to Farmoor early on Sunday hoping that the bad weather had grounded some interesting waders or terns (and Black Tern in particular). Wishful thinking I'm afraid since the only birds that had arrived overnight were a Turnstone and a (different to yesterdays) Sanderling.
|female Red-crested Pochard
|Hobby high up in an increasingly "stormy" sky
Parking is easy at Boddington, right next to the reservoir, and within seconds of leaving the car we were both watching the Black Terns. They were doing whole circuits of the reservoir and I set about trying to choose the best place to get the best views. We opted for the Western bank which would at least afford a viewpoint less affected by the sun (which was now blazing). Every 5 minutes or so the Black Terns would fly back into range (but still well out). The problem with trying to capture them on camera was that they'd fly about 10-20 feet above the water which put them in the tree line before dropping to the water surface to pick flying insects. The camera doesn't track birds at distance very well when the background is solid behind them, so in the end I had to shoot on manual and hope that the focussing was correct. The results although far from great did at least provide acceptable record shots.
|Woodcock in "roding" flight
|male Nightjar in display flight
|male Nightjar "churring"