I had my usual Saturday morning wonder into the town centre of March, and bought a few items from the high street. When I got home, I decided to head over to the village of Manea and look for the bird hide sanctuary. Before setting off, I got my camera and took a few snaps at home and then got into the car and drove out into the Fens. I was listening to Kate Bush's Fifty Words for Snow album as I drove along the lanes looking out into the fields and crossing the various bridges, canals and rivers. Also under a railway line with a tunnel so low; I thought the car roof would scrap the bottom of the bridge.
Finally I entered the little village of Manea. I collect the bins here every Wednesday and had seen a sign post about an RSPCB reserve. I followed the bumpy road along and turned onto an uneven tarmacked road running parallel with a canal. It led to a small dame where there was a car park. I used the facility and grabbed my camera. There was a small bridge across the canal, which I crossed following the signs to the bird hides. They were spaced at about 300m apart along a raised dike wall. On the other side of the dike was a scarp that dropped down to another smaller river running parallel with the canal and only the dike separating them. This was the sanctuary view. A neat little place with window shutters and stools. I was alone in the hide and looking out across the Fen towards Ely.
The hide was in a very tranquil setting and I relaxed looking for the various types of birds one can often see. As usual there were not many about for me and when they did appear; I was often to late with the camera.
My first snaps before getting into the car and heading for Manea village. I always go for my much coveted Red Hot Pokers.
...and the Australian Bottle Brush...
I like things that cascade and look a bit unkempt. I don't like neat rows of flowers and symetrical patterns etc.
I don't know what this one is called but I like it all the same. It looks like something one might find growing under the sea clinging to a rocky reef.
Caught a dragonfly on the window frame. Good start. :D
As I approached the RSPCB reserve, I passed this old barn with a door that is well and truly passed its sell by date... lol
There was an abundance of wild flora growing everywhere. Its always like this during spring and summer. Wild flowers take over.
Wild Daisy flowers and the purple stuff. I don't know what its called but it looks grand.
I was like an old aircraft gunner trying to catch flying things in the spot light. Sometimes it comes off and on other occasions it blurs out on me.
It was very tranquil inside the hide. However next time, I'll remember to bring binoculars too. Plus a flask of tea and a cheese roll. One could spend a rather pleasant afternoon in here.
I could not help drifting from the bird watching to click the flora. It really was something.
I saw a kestrel at some distance and started clicking away. Most shots were too far and were waisted but as it dived; I managed to get something. The bottom two shots were taken as it swooped down upon some prey in the long grass. Gradually it dropped and then dived into the foliage. I never see it lift off, so I'm not sure if the attack was successful.
The kestrel's final dive into the grass.
I saw a grey Heron get into a flap too.
Then quite again and attention moves back to the flora. It is every where.
Then my attention is caught by, what I think is, an Egret, skimming across the water and the Lillies.