Now all the birds have arrived, I thought I'd spend some time getting to know a few a bit better. This week I did a couple of reconnaissance walks to search for interesting subjects and found a pair of nesting common sandpiper and a pair of spotted flycatchers. Today, I set about photographing them for the first time. (double click on images to see a greater resolution)
For the sandpipers, I have set up a hide on the river bank opposite a gravel beach I've often seen them active. Across the river, they're a little too far away to capture in great detail, so my aim is to capture some flight shots in the coming days.
The pair were under constant surveillance from a jay (a bird I wouldn't associate with predating waders) so the birds were jumpy and noisy. I'm hoping tomorrow they'll be more relaxed and I can get some better pictures in the early light.
The flycatchers are nesting behind the ivy on the trunk of a great oak tree along the road, so I'll be using my car as a hide. It's dark where they've chosen to nest, so I'm going to punch some more light into the scene using a flash stood on top of my car.
Finally, I came across this goosander earlier this week with what seems like an extraordinary number of ducklings (sixteen)!