Attenborough yesterday. The early autumn fruits are ready – apple and blackberry, elderberry, hawberry and rosehip. Horse chestnut even.
While cabbage whites do floral cunnilingus, honey bees go deep stick. Everyone’s a winner.
Red winged damselflies do it in the air.
The largest of Attenborough’s flooded gravel pits, fed by the Erewash flowing south through DH Lawrence country, drains into the Trent two hundred yards downstream of Barton Island. I often see a heron there, statuesque in the outlet’s whitewater and so close to the footbridge I can get passable shots on a phonecam.
Today I had my proper kit though: Canon 7D Mk II with L series 100:400 lens enhanced by my 1.4x extender to give a reach of 560mm. More if you add in the crop factor of an APS-C sensor.
So stick that in your pipe and smoke it.
I was halfway across the bridge when this glided in from the Trent’s south bank. I hadn’t time to focus, far less adjust shutter and aperture, but kept these shots for all their faults. I have few of herons airborne, and none at all head on.
To my surprise it didn’t take position in the water, not immediately. Instead it stalked the reeds a metre from the bank: a suboptimal tactic, piscatorially speaking. Que pasa?
Funny place to look for fish, mate.
Now I’m really puzzled …
… but this next pic, breeze on blade foxing autofocus, explains all. Herons, like most predators, are opportunists.
What a fine shot this would have been, had I caught the dragonfly as neatly as its nemesis has! Truth is – like the time earlier this year when I had a (rubbish) shot of a grebe about to eat its kill of a tiny pike – I didn’t even spot the dragonfly till I got the picture up on my computer screen.
Anyways … we all revert to type sooner or later. Sooner in this case. Here’s the same heron, not five minutes later, doing what it does best.
I didn’t even need to move to see my next bird. This grey wagtail homed in on a mossy stone a few yards downstream of the bridge, where it took up position near the heron.
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