Wednesday, 27 October 2010

More days like this, please

Curlew at Pagham Harbour Nature Reserve
I fell asleep on the sofa on Sunday night. Usually, I don't get to bed until gone midnight - my internal clock ticks a late night and early morning beat... just not in the same 24 hour period.

The reason for my exhaustion was a day spent at Petworth, Burton Mill Pond and Pagham Harbour Nature Reserve. Out of the house at 7am, I was waiting eagerly for the gates to open at Petworth Park. My disappointment at a lack of any notable mist or fog given the cold overnight temperatures was compounded by the late arrival of the gatekeeper. By the time I had parked up, donned the boots and hauled myself into position along with a handful of like-minded individuals, any hope of significant vapour in the air had disappeared as the morning sun quickly made light work of what little there was. Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed the morning; plenty of posing deer and good shooting light (the results of which can be found on flickr).

Highlights from Petworth:

* Nearly getting trampled by a short-sighted stag
* Chuckling at the guys (with equipment far more expensive than mine) shooting directly into the sun
* After all the rutting, the first stag I've seen to get his wicked way with a doe
* Realising I'd not paid for parking and dashing back to the car park - to find I'd got away with it.

On leaving Petworth, I headed for Burton Mill Pond, a Nature Reserve three miles South. No decent pictures to be had here, although I did spot a Great Grey Shrike (first time I've seen one of these), Kestrel, numerous Woodpeckers, and a Pagani Zonda! After completing a round tour, I moved on to Pagham Harbour - another Nature Reserve - and what a marvellous place it is! Within 20 minutes of parking, I'd seen a Peregrine Falcon, Buzzard, Kestrel, Kingfisher, Little Egret and a number of Curlews. And that's just the birds I recognised. Unfortunately, I had to curtail my visit as time was against me. But I headed home rather pleased at my day's work and chomping at the bit to get out again.

Unfortunately It does seem that the weather is taking a turn for the worse, so I may spend the weekend sorting through my back-up and the thousands of pictures that really need to find their way on to it. And I might just stick a few more on Flickr too...

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