Hartsholme in late October

I visited Hartsholme last Sunday as I hadn’t been for quite some time. I arrived just before 07:30 which as it turned out was too early, the light was bland and there wasn’t too much of it. Even at extreme ISO’s I was getting many blurred shots – the animals have a nasty habit of moving just as you are taking their picture ๐Ÿ™‚

Once the light had risen a bit I could lower the ISO and still get some acceptable shots.

One thing I did notice above all else during the shoot was how may (Grey) squirrels there were, it seemed like hundreds:

They are also quite happy to have their photo taken:

The usual suspects were all present, such as Mallards:

Coots (some of these were born this year, there is a definite size difference between them):

There was also a female Red-Crested Pochard, I didn’t see any males and she seemed to hang around the Mallard’s quite a bit:

A solitary Great-crested Grebe was also around diving for food:

You could tell that its getting colder as the seagulls start to come inland a lot more, there were quite a few black-headed Gulls showing their winter plumage already:

One thing that seemed to absent were Geese, sure there were a couple of Greylags around at fisr. However around 08:30 I heard the first squadron come in but was not in a good position to capture them. As I ventured around the corner I could see that the fisrt squadron were made up of Canada Geese:

However after waiting patiently at a good vantage shot I was rewarded by a few more squadrons of Greylag and Canada Geese coming into land:

I like this shot as the lower Goose has it’s mouth open:

The final shot is of a Canada Goose coming towards me, its a bit soft but I do like the image just the same:

Missed Opportunity
Whilst I was at Hartsholme, a single Grey Heron came into the park and landed at some shallow water across the lake from me. Even with the lens racked out to 400mm on a crop-factored body (effective 600mm) the bird was too small in the frame to yield any good shots. I was also certain that If I went to the other side the bird would fly away. And sure enough, this happened as a guy walking his dog proved. However the Heron only flew a few yards to the same log that the Black-headed gulls (see above) were resting on. From here the Heron seemed a lot happier.

I quickly picked up my tripod and moved quickly across the bridge towards the Heron as I got close I pull the legs out and very slowly inched towards the bird and just as I was about to get the shot he was spooked and flew away ๐Ÿ˜ฆ