Today, Carole and I went over the bird hides at Manea to look out across the Fen and hope to find some birds of prey. Last week we bought stronger binoculars while out along the coastal towns of north Norfolk.
We could see Ely Cathedral in the summer haze as we looked out across the fen from our bird hide. We took along a flask of coffee, as usual, plus some great door step sandwiches of Tiger bread filled with peppered ham, mustard and tomato. Net forgetting the pork pies too. We always unwind out in the quite fen and talk about this and that, while hoping to spot a hawk of some kind. There were plenty of swifts and swallows plus herons and a stork.
The bird hides can be a little hit and miss for the hawks and as we are novices; we tend to be learning via mistakes. The last time we were at the hides, a beautiful bird of prey landed upon a distant gate post. It had a black head, but I could not make out if it was a Marsh Harrier or a Hobby. I got several shots of the creature as it was upon the gate for a good few minutes surveying the fields and the scarp of the dyke. However, we did not have the better binoculars at the time and my Nikon zoom lens gave me a maximum of 200m. Sadly this was not effective. When I down loaded the pictures upon my computer, I tried to magnify the subject (bird of prey) but it pixilated before I could make out what it was.
I need to buy a new zoom lens that gives greater magnification and have seen a fine one on eBay, but it is in USA. Therefore delivery will take some time.
In the meantime, we still content ourselves with what we can see via the new binoculars and hope for the best with my zoom lens at 200m.
The only bird of prey we see today was a kestrel. I took a few shots of that, but it was at distance and on the way back we saw many butterflies and snapped some of these topics too. Upon the lock gate I tried to get some swifts or swallows as they darted and flitted across the canal.
Even the snakes declined to make an appearance. The last time we were here there seemed to be a lot of adders and grass snakes in the long grass.
A chirpy little Goldfinch allowed us a few shots too. He was singing his afternoon song upon a TV Ariel when we got home.