26 May 2013 Woolston Eyes

29th May 2013
On Sunday morning I went to Woolston Eyes in the hope of improving on my previous Black-necked Grebe photographs but as usual I took all the gear ready to shoot anything that moved, stood still or just wafted in the breeze.

As I crossed the footbridge to the nature reserve I couldn’t see anything on the bund below apart from some ducks in the distance.

As I walked along the track to the first viewing screen and hide I could see a group of visitors looking at the Mink trap on the bund and I had a glance over as I passed them but I couldn’t see anything.

As I reached the end of the track to turn onto the meadows I was hit by the wonderful smell of wild garlic or Ramsons.

Ramsons (Wild Garlic) in flower

I usually take the right hand path that leads to the hides but I thought I’d take the longer route and took the path to the left.

I’d only walked a few yards and I could see a Buzzard circling on the thermals overhead and quite low down so well worth shooting a few frames.


There were plenty of butterflies on the wing mainly whites and Peacocks so I took a few photos of whatever I could get close to. Most of them were in poor condition with ragged wings and it makes you wonder how they actually fly when they are so badly damaged.

Peacock Butterfly

After walking through the small patch of trees I know there is an area where there are a few clumps of Cowslip that I wanted to try and photograph.

I’d put the 5D on the 500mm lens as I was hoping to improve the quality of the photos of the birds on the water and I had the 100mm macro lens on the 7D. With hindsight I should have changed the lenses around and then back again later but I think I was being a bit lazy.

Anyway I set everything up and started to photograph the Cowslips with the 7D, I also used a reflector to bounce the light back into the shadows in the hope of improving the pics.

I also used the reflector as a white background in some of the photos, which are best I’m not sure.



On the meadows there was also another plant that looked interesting and at the time of photographing I didn’t have a clue as to its identity. However since then with the help of Elizabeth Maddock and John Blundell it’s been identified as Ribwort Plantain.

Ribwort Plantain

I then moved on to the Rotary Hide in the hope of photographing some Black-necked Grebe. There were five on this pool but nothing ventured over to the hide side of the pool apart from a couple of Gadwall. After an hour or so I gave up and moved on.

I went to the John Morgan Hide next and was quite surprised to find it empty, There were plenty of birds on the water, mainly the usual suspects, including Mallard, Shelduck, Gadwall, Pochard, Canada Goose, Mute Swan with chicks, Black Headed Gulls, Lesser Black Backed Gulls, Great Crested Grebe, Moorhens and Coots.



Black headed gulls

After a while an Arctic Tern appeared on the scrape and gave quite a nice flying display and posed long enough on the scrape to get some reasonable shots.

Arctic Tern

Arctic Tern

After that I visited the Tower Hide as some nice photographs of warblers and buntings have been taken from there.

I was in luck a and got a few reasonable shots

Reed Warbler

Time flies when you are having fun and home time came round very quickly, it’s a pity time doesn’t seem to pass as quickly when I’m in work!

Thanks for reading.


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