Saturday, 15 May 2010

Common Sandpiper

A definite first for me at Bretton Lakes, I was surprised to see a Common Sandpiper in the front of the hide this afternoon. Luckilly for me it was in no great hurry as the shock of seeing something new put me into a bit of a panic. I forgot that the focus limiter on my lens was set to 10m-infinity. The bird was closer than that so I had to change it and take aim again. Sod's law would normally dictate that the bird would choose this moment to fly away but not on this occasion! I also forgot to add a bit of exposure compensation but I was able to correct this in post processing. This is one advantage that shooting in RAW gives you.

That was the end of the excitement for today!

Meanwhile a few of the usual suspects were happy to pose around for me.

Great Tit


I think this scruffy looking ball of fluff is a recently fledged Nuthatch?

"I'm not fat, I'm big-boned!"

A fellow blogger recently asked if I could upload a picture of Bretton's only wildlife hide so here it is. It's a small, rickety construction. Big enough for only about 4 people but it's nice and snug! 

The horizontal bits of rotting wood on the left are improvised feeders, complete with a Great Tit who was eager to get at the seed I'd just put there. Underneath the bushes on the right of the entrance is where we put food down for the local Bank Voles, Woodmice and Shrews.

The viewing window is quite narrow but the thick log provides a nice, steady platform for the camera. Yet again I'd forgotten to bring my beanbag though! The island can be seen in the foreground but the Heronry is out of shot at the top of the trees. The wooded area on the far side is on a narrow spit of land that is bordered on one side by the River Dearne with the lake on the other. This area is people free so the wildlife tends to favour that side of the lake.


  1. Great shots of the Common Sandpiper. I've only ever managed very distant shots of these.

    Enjoyed looking through your posts. Some lovely shots. That Blackcap in the previous post is excellent.

  2. Oh, you did a phenomenal job with the sandpiper - I'm so glad he decided to give you a second chance! This has happened to me several times - so I feel your pain and excitement with the prospect of losing shots and regaining in one fell swoop.
    Thank you so much for showing me the 'hide'! It is even more romantic than I envisioned. If I lived near a place like this I'd be there every spring morning ;-) The improvised feeder is so cool! And then to think there is a heronry added to all of this - wow - I am jealous!
    It must be the mother in me - but I am in LOVE with that fat little scruffy fledgling ;-) Your comment about his big bones made me laugh out loud! Great post!!!