Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Jan 7th Strumpshaw Fen

Marsh Harrier
My first shift at Strumpshaw for 2015 was fairly quiet. From Reception Hide, apart from mallards, coots, the odd marsh harrier and a sparrowhawk being mobbed by crows, there was very little about.

Walking along the woodland path, however, was much more interesting. Small birds from the tit family were flitting about in nearly every branch by the path. Blue, Great, Marsh and Long-tailed tits (the latter not a true tit by the way) were very inquisitive in an area where a stump had food put out by photographers. They were joined by robins, dunnocks and chaffinches. There was also a treecreeper spiralling up the surrounding tree trunks, searching for insects hidden beneath the bark. All these small woodland birds are a challenge to photograph as they are constantly moving. Every time I find them in my bridge camera, get them in focus, press the button to take a picture, they become a blur or are absent in my shot. I guess everyone has this problem? I've only had the camera nearly a year now, so I'm still learning the basics.

Great Tit
While I was walking along the woodland path, I came across a mole hill in action. This mound of fresh soil was moving! It bulged upwards several times. I waited as still as possible to see if it came up. For a second, I thought a snout was going to break the surface and I was going to see my first living mole! But no. It decided to stay under and the mole hill became still. Still an exciting moment though.

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