My first birding blog post today. I have been out with the birding lenses a couple of times recently but found nothing really to photograph or tell you about, so as said this is the first birding post, and it will be a pretty short one as it was only a very brief outing today, mainly because of the weather.
It was a spur of the moment decision to visit Toft Newton reservoir today. I had no intention of going anywhere as it was blowing a gale and very dull. However, I received a text from a good friend of mine Dave just before lunch time, one thing led to another and we decided to take a ride to Toft Newton. A Pectoral Sandpiper had been showing well at Toft Newton reservoir for the best part of a week. Dave had got great shots of it on Sunday. Unfortunately due to other commitments I hadn't been able to get over to Toft Newton. I fully intended going yesterday (Monday) but the weather was horrendous with gale force winds and torrential rain.
I picked Dave up at around 12:30 and we made the thirty five minute journey to Toft Newton reservoir. As said it was blowing a gale but at least it wasn't raining, although the light was pretty poor. I took both the Canon 500mm F4 lens and the Canon 400mm F5.6 lens with me. The Sandpiper had been allowing very close views, so I figured I would probably use the 400mm but took the 500mm with me just in case it was more distant today. On arrival we checked where the Sandpiper had been seen over the weekend with no luck. We decided to walk around the reservoir, Dave going in one direction, me in the opposite direction and if either of us spotted it we could ring the other one to alert them.
It's not too far to walk right round the reservoir and we soon met up again, neither of us having seen any sign of it. There were a few Yellow and Pied wagtails about, a couple of Mute swans, Mallard, Coot, Dunlin and a Ringed plover but no Sandpiper. We decided to try for photographs of the Dunlin and Plover. That was easier said than done Lol. They were very jumpy and it was difficult getting close enough with the 400mm lens I had opted to use. By keeping low behind the perimeter wall of the reservoir and belly shuffling to peep over the wall when we thought we were near enough we eventually after several attempts managed to photograph them. Not the best photographs, due to the poor light but acceptable.
We spent about half an hour photographing these little waders. Just before we were about to call it a day we bumped into Dean a fellow photographer. Toft Newton is Dean's local patch and he hadn't seen any sign of the sandpiper today, so we assume it departed sometime yesterday which is about par for the course with my luck Lol. Anyway it was good to see Dean and I did get a few photographs. I was pleasantly surprised at how well they came out considering the conditions. It was worth the effort, as they say, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
After a quick chat with Dean we made our way back to the car. Great timing as well, as just after arriving back at the car it started to rain. I don't mind getting wet myself but I'm not keen on the camera gear getting wet. A short visit but a pleasant one.