Once again, my wife and I decided to go over the bird hide at Mania in Cambridgeshire. It was a pleasant day and we had our coffee flask all made up. With camera, binoculars and a telescope we set off.
On the way we saw a Red Kite but could not photo it because we were moving along a country lane with a car close behind.
Upon reaching Manea we parked the car by the lock gates and began to walk along the bridal path to the hide my wife always enjoys sitting in. As we entered the hide we were welcomed by a retired gentleman from the Yorkshire/Lancashire border. He said he was a Yorkshire man from West Riding but back in the early 1970s they decided that his village was now in Lancashire. Something he was not keen on and was quick to say the council or government was thinking of putting the original boundaries back to make his village once again in Yorkshire. He was a very sociable man and had obviously travelled far from his northern home to come to the Manea bird hides. He was on holiday with his wife and another couple who were keen country walkers or ramblers. He also told us that his village was next to the very place where Last of the Summer Wine TV sitcom was made.
He asked us about Welney bird centre and when it was that the flood plain would be allowed to flood for the winter. This is because it brings in flocks of various migratory wet warbler type birds.
We replied that we did not know exactly when the flood gates would open for the flood plain, but Welney, whichis about 5 miles away had staff at their bird watching complex and they would know. He seemed excited by this and asked more questions about the various wet birds he might see there.
We spoke at length and of the various raptors we see at the fen in front of our bird hide. We also spoke of a vibrant blue Kingfisher that we had seen. The man seemed very interested in the kingfisher and asked when and where we had seen it. We replied that it was in the very hide we were all in and it was roughly in the afternoon time. Again he got excited because he said that kingfishers were territorial and would have a set pattern of flight.
I did not hold out much hope of this but after about half an hour the man spotted the kingfisher and alerted my wife and me to the creature’s presence. I managed a few shots at distance and selected a couple for the blog.
The man chatted for about another hour in which we saw raptors in flight. He then decided to give Welney a try as he was down on holiday. His wife and friends were still out and about rambling allowing him more time for further bird watching. He had a few hours to go before collecting his walker companions so he bade us good bye and went off to his car along the bridal path and presumably off to Welney where we hoped he would find an abundance of the wet birds he was looking for.