I have a few record shots of the Lesser Yellowlegs from the one that visited Lepe Country Park last January. That bird was very flighty and kept its distance. I was happy with the shots I had but when I heard that there was another bird down at Pett Levels that was much more confiding it seemed like an opportunity not to be missed. I picked Dave up and we headed down to darkest East Sussex.
On arrival we quickly located the appropriate spot on the edge of the eastern most pool. It was bitterly cold so we sat in the car surveying the birds, but we only had about a five minute wait before the Lesser Yellowlegs put in an appearance. It was very close and we were concerned that we might flush it getting out of the car and getting the cameras from the boot. To our surprise it then flew even closer ending up probably no more than twenty feet from the watching birders.
These are a big improvement on my existing record shots but I didn't get that real showstopper shot that I was looking for. It's a delicate looking little bird and it was being buffeted by a strong wind. I was also having difficulty holding the camera steady in that wind. There is a better shot here somewhere and if it hangs around I will have to go back for another go at it.
We moved on to Scotny Pits where Dave soon picked up the male Scaup and we had the usual problem of trying to find something that looked like a true Barnacle Goose from the assortment of hybrids in the flock.
Next stop was Dengemarsh road where Dave had photographed a pair of Cattle Egrets a few days ago. He had promised me close views of these as well but when we arrived they were some distance away. I thought I would have to make do with distant record shots but as we headed back towards the car they both flew up and landed within a few feet of the fence. It is rare that I complain about birds being too close but I was having real problems this time. I had too much lens on and I could not get the birds in the frame.
|A damaged bill on this individual|
Next stop was the ARC Pit at Dungeness where we picked up year ticks on Great White Egret, Goldeneye and Bittern. They were too distant for record shots but we did have good views of one of the local Kingfishers, a couple of Chiffchaffs and a rather fine looking Great Tit.
After a bit of searching we also found a few Tree Sparrows but we could not find any sign of the female Smew.
A great days birding and some good picture opportunities. The new year has got off to a flying start.