As David M said in his post i was already there at the local patch, arriving about 1 hour before David.
It was bathed in early morning sunlight and I though ‘great should be a good few hours here this morning’ well after a walk down the track seeing the flock of 80ish finches Dave R told us about the other day at some distance and about 100 Greylags in the field opposite the car park and a few Pied Wagtails kicking about nothing was seen on the amble to the first port of call, the hide, the scrape was bereft of birds apart from about 10 teal and 2 Mallard.
A few minutes passed and that was enough for me, off up Viking Way I ventured and at this point the sun disappeared to be replaced by dark moody rain clouds, bugger! was my first thought 🙂
I positioned myself on Viking Way to see if i could see any Water Rail, no was the answer but I did see and managed (don’t know how) to photograph a Cettis Warbler for only the 2nd time, it dropped into the channel running parallel with the track for long enough for me to get two clicks fired off!
The bird was in and out in the same area as well as a Robin and the odd female Reed Bunting. Half a dozen Mute Swan circled before dropping down Mill Lane too with the distinctive wing noise bringing them to my attention before seeing them.
David M came up the track and we had a chat about the recent events here, Hen Harrier, Stonechat etc. while looking out for Water Rail and Cettis which we both got the odd glimpse of only.
Then the Harrier appeared I shouted David and off we moved to a better position to see the bird which was over the reed bed just after the scape / hide. So we both enthused about how great it was to see the bird (my first time since it had arrived) at the same time as we took photos of the bird always willing it to come closer!
Now David has missed some vital information out in his earlier post, let me elaborate further …..
David had both his Canon and Olympus set-ups with him and he had earlier told me about just receiving his Olympus back from a repair in Portugal when he said ‘something is wrong with it again there is a black bar on the image look!’ Well, I suggested he point the camera direct to the sky and take another pic to see if it did it again as it may have been a one off.
To cut a long story short the camera was fine and the problem was caused by one of David spare camera batteries being lodged squarely in the hood of the lens attached to the Olympus lens!!! I have now witnessed a square (well oblong) peg going into a round hole very successfully!
As you can imagine we both had a at laugh at David’s expense at his, shall I say ‘senior moment’ 🙂 At least the camera did not have to go to Portugal again did it!!
Below are a selection of photo’s I got of the Hen Harrier, it was at one point being mobbed by a lone Crow which drove the bird down to ground for a while and it eventually took off and then headed towards the Old Barn area directly over the car park.
I forgot to add that I also met up with a couple of birders while waiting for Water Rail & Cettis to make an appearance who were from Bottesford and Melton, the lads turned out were fellow Twitter fans too! Nice to meet @vobbirder & @darth_feathers, here’s to the next time lads! 🙂