Migrant Hawker

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I had to take some prints into Stratford today for an upcoming camera club exhibition, and R kindly offered to drive me. Errand completed, he parked the car in Old Town and went off about his own business, while I went looking for Odonata.

By this time the hot and sticky weather had started to look quite stormy, with dark clouds gathering and fat raindrops beginning to spill over, so there wasn’t much dragon activity going on. A few Migrant Hawkers were still out and about though, and even though the light was far from ideal for for flight shots, they’re such wonderful hoverers that I was able to capture a dozen or so quite respectable images as they searched the reed beds for prey. In terms of brightness and colour balance, this is a pretty accurate depiction of the scene I captured from up on Lucy’s Mill Bridge – as is the extra, which shows the same dragon momentarily resting on a reed above the dark river.

As the rain began to take its job more seriously, I decided to quit while I was ahead and make my way into town, to meet up with R for coffee. The walk provided me with one last photo opportunity as I passed the weir – unsurprisingly, because this heron is quite a common sight here these days. In fact, most of the weirs in this area seem to have an almost-resident heron, which is interesting because these are quite shy and nervous birds, and yet it seems that the hunting advantage provided by the turbulent water outweighs any fear they would usually have of being so close to people.