Blue tit

Blue tit

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As the weather was clear this morning (though extremely cold) I thought I’d take a trip over to the Christopher Cadbury Wetland Reserve at Upton Warren. There are two sections to this reserve, and I began at the saline pools called the Flashes, wrongly assuming that salt water was less likely than clear to be frozen: in fact these pools are very shallow, and they were heavily iced and almost deserted. Walking back to the car park I spotted this blue tit and managed a handful of shots before it moved into a tangle of branches.

About half a mile away the freshwater Moors pools were still icy in places, but there was enough clear water for large numbers of birds to be swimming and feeding. I chose a hide on the east side of the reserve, and was both entertained and educated by some keen birders there who were gently competing with each other to be the first to reach forty spots for the day. I certainly didn’t count forty species, but I saw Cormorants, Gadwalls, Teal, Snipe, Lapwings, Curlews, a Little Egret and a Grey Heron, among other things. I also managed to turn quickly enough at the cry “Kingfisher!” to see the elusive streak of turquoise disappearing into a reed bed – though not to bring the camera round in time, sadly. Over a couple of hours I took 543 photos, which I’ve so far culled by 2/3; tomorrow I’ll go back to them and make a Facebook album, but I already know that even though it’s not an unusual bird, this is technically my best shot of the day – and I also really like it, which is why it’s my post.

Many thanks for all the love you bestowed on yesterday’s butterflies, bestowing love on each other – your nice comments, stars and hearts are much appreciated!