Whilst photographing the Spotted Flycatcher and Chiffchaff the other day, I couldn't help but notice the Kingfisher calling frequently on the opposite side of the hedge to where I was standing. So With an unexpected bright start to the day I decided to head back to DWE and just set up and wait for the Kingfishers, well it didn't happen. Not a single sight nor sound of one, all the while keeping stationary I could hear and see numerous House Martins and a few Sand Martins actively feeding just above the waters surface. I then gave up on the Kingfishers and decided to foolishly try my luck on the Martins instead. These little missiles were hard to track to say the least,even when I set up with 3D tracking on the camera, the movement on the water kept throwing it off the birds so I went back to spot focusing. It was around this time as I just got into it that the wind picked up,the rain started and it became dull, but still I persevered and enjoyed the challenge and got a few half decent shots in the bag. It was fun tracking them all over the water, so fast on the turns that the delete rate was a lot higher than the keepers! And when I suddenly couldn't see any birds in the viewfinder, upon looking up I would find them all higher over the lake, it was then I knew that one of the Hobbies were around feeding on the dragonflies, and when the Hobby had done they then dropped back down to skim the lakes surface. You will notice in all the shots that they are all going in the same direction, this was because of the wind direction, when they turned and went the other way it was just too fast to track anything.
After finishing my last night shift I decided to take a walk around the pits (DWE). The weather was crap and the light awful and dull,but hey ho! carry on. The usual suspects were on the water and the only waders seen were Lapwing and a single Common Sandpiper. I moved along the hedgeline in the hope of something to snap away at, and the first subject were 2 Reed Warblers opposite me in the waters edge vegetation, they then moved across to the hedgeline to feed and I followed in their direction. I picked out this vocal Wren and then heard a Chiffchaff calling but could not locate it.
I then noticed a bird fly out from the hedgeline catch a fly and return to the hedge. It was then I spied it, a young Spotted Flycatcher. A lovely sight and a new species for me at this site, it was then time to wait and work with patience to get close enough for some images. For over a hour I watched this bird and snapped off some shots, it would disappear to the other side of the hedge for a time,but it would always return to my side as it chased the insects.
Whilst watching the Spotted Flycatcher I was aware of the Chiffchaff still in the vicinity, then I caught sight of it as it moved towards the area where the Flycatcher was, I was able to get some shots of the bird as it fed.
The Chiffchaff then moved along the hedgeline and my attention returned to the Spotted Flycatcher, the weather had improved with sunny spells, I got some shots of it preening and wing stretching, before finally bringing up a pellet of the insect remains.
The Chiffchaff moved back towards me and so I bagged a few more images as it stopped to rest and preen awhile.
After some feather pulling the Chiffchaff moved off and I took a couple more parting images of the Spotted Flycatcher before continuing my walk back to the car and home. Oh! Did I say I was happy with the morning.......indeed I was.
On the day we were departing for home, the weather had totally changed with misty skies and rain. Sarah and I made a trip to Salthouse beach with just the bins'. There were a few birders turning up whilst we were there, with plenty of birds passing out to sea. We saw large groups of Wigeon, Teal and Scoter passing, alongside a lot of Skuas and Gannets. There were 3 Wheatear on the area off the beach. On the day before whilst sea watching, I noticed a small bird being chased by a large gull, think it was Great blacked backed, and with thoughts of perhaps a petrel being pursued I was surprised to then see the small bird turn out to be a Kingfisher!, it actively turned and zig zagged and then dived into the sea to escape the gull before heading off west with the gull heading that way also, mind you I don't think it was still after it. A sight I didn't expect to see.
Two days after Sarah and I crashed out at Kelling beach and we were back there again, once again I took my camera gear, happy to sit on the beach and chance on anything passing. First to be photographed were the Stonechats, this time the more colourful bird which did not pose the time before.
A meadow pipit also put in a close show for me to grab its picture. And then it was off to the beach.
On setting our stuff down on the front we noticed a Wheatear close by, it hadn't been there a couple of days ago, so had presumably only just moved in. And the resident Grey Seal which had kept us company all day previously was there again. It would come up for air and then sun itself before disappearing back below.
The Wheatear continued to stay around us all day long and I managed to get a few closer shots. It had a lovely rich colour to its upperparts as well as on the underparts. Later on it was joined by a juv Pied Wagtail, which was always close by actively feeding in the same patch.
As the day came to an end it was only fitting to end with a few more shots of the Stonechat.