08 May 13 - At the Eyes

08th May 2013
I didn’t get to “The Eyes” over the weekend and as the weather forecast is for the weather to deteriorate over the next few days I took a few hours off work yesterday and visited “The Eyes”.

The light seemed good and there was a light breeze and after parking up I crossed the footbridge to the nature reserve with great hopes. As I crossed the bridge I caught sight of a small wader, possibly a Sandpiper as it flew up the bund toward the footbridge then it suddenly turned back and landed on the bank. When I was leaving it was on the other side of the footbridge and again landed on the bank before I could get a good look at it.

With the light being quite bright and not much wind I was hoping to get some nice photographs of the Black-necked Grebes. Over the last few weeks the grebes had been favouring the north pool so I went to the Rotary Hide first.

I scanned the water and could only see one grebe and it was out in the middle of the pool and after nearly an hour of waiting for it to come closer to the edge I gave up. I did try taking a few photos but they are in the trash folder now. While I was there I counted three BNG’s and I heard plenty of Sedge Warblers but none came out into the open.

As I walked to the John Morgan Hide I was hoping that the Dunlin or Redshank that had been reported may be still around, at least then I wouldn’t have wasted my free time.


As luck would have it a single Dunlin was walking between the Gulls on the waters edge. After a while another pair of Dunlin appeared from nowhere and then a little later a pair of Redshank and a Lapwing.

At least they were at the edge of the water for most of the time so photographable.


Just for information I was using a 500mm f4.0 Canon prime lens with a 1.4x teleconvertor fitted to a Canon 7D camera: that is the equivalent of a 1142mm lens on a full frame camera.

The camera settings, were ISO 200, using aperture priority set at f5.6, the shutter speed varied between 1/250 to 1/800 sec.

The photographs that appear here have also been cropped at either 50% (1:2) or 100% (1:1) to show the birds at a reasonable size in the frame.

The Redshanks appeared to be male and female as one of them was making some serious advances, but the other one wasn’t having any of it and it made a hasty get away. Such is life!


There where plenty of other birds around including Canada Goose, Greylag Goose, Shelduck, Gadwall, Shoveler, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Coots, Moorhen, various gulls, Mallard with chicks and Mute Swan with five chicks.

Thanks for reading.


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