Sunday, 28 August 2016

Standlake Pit 60: 27 August

Enthused by Jim Hutchin's excellent Greenshank close up on the Oxon Bird Log earlier in the week, I decided to give Pit 60 a try although it was a close call over the alternative of Otmoor where the Purple Heron was still clearly around. In the event, I think I made the wrong decision as the Purple Heron was reported at 11:40 - when I would have been there!

Anyhow, when I arrived at the Langley Lane Hide shortly after 08:00 it was empty and there was a distinct lack of avian interest. However after a bit, a Greenshank duly appeared feeding along the edge. Photos were difficult as it never stopped moving and it kept getting obscured by the vegetation that is growing up in front of the hide, as it seemed to favour the short vegetation instead of the waters edge. Over the course of the morning, it (or another bird) reappeared at intervals, and once very briefly two were present together, but they never stopped their perpetual motion feeding action.

Greenshank - note small prey item between its open bill.
For a larger image, click here.

Other birds included a few Common Terns, a Green Sandpiper that did not oblige, and a glimpse of a fly past Kingfisher. At some point Jim appeared with his monster new lens! Other fly pasts included Grey Heron and Little Egret

As the light deteriorated towards the end of the morning, I left the hide only to be hit by a heavy shower on the way back to the car - but nothing like the atrocious conditions later on in the afternoon!

From the photographer's point of view, with Pit 60, there is always the chance of something coming quite close. Downsides include the limited species variety and the elevated aspect of the hide.

Fly past Grey Heron
For a larger image, click here.

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