An eager return to Far Ings and kingfishers.

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Up and away early today at 5.30. I was heading to Far Ings eager to renew my acquaintance with bird photography after a wonderful summer of dragonflies and butterflies. I hoped to take some landscape shots of Saxby- All-Saints Church and the Ancholme valley on the way though. Again there was an early autumn feel to the air and now virtually all the harvest was in and some fields ploughed and prepared for the winter. I arrived early at Saxby and parked up to wait for the light which never really materialised. Good light is everything in photography. It was wonderful, though, to listen to the day waking up as light crept into the sky. There was still a tawny owl calling down in the village, rooks were noisily preparing for the day and the murmuring of pigeons and doves filled the air. Once I had decided that the magic light was to elude me today I headed for Far Ings and was installed in Ness hide shortly after 7.00 with Howard, Don, Mark and Matthew. Already there had been visits from kingfisher and water rail so I settled in with anticipation. It didn’t take long before the clouds moved east and that special light appeared. With the light came the first of the kingfisher’s visits. It is always a privilege to enjoy such close views of this special bird and to watch as it perches, preens, hovers and catches fish. We also had excellent vies of water rail, bearded tit and a weasel dashing across in front of the hide. I listened enviously to tales of the osprey that had been in evidence last week at the start of its long migratory journey to Africa. I wonder if it was a juvenile on its first migration. There are many reports of other migrants leaving us and arriving or passing through such as the magnificent firecrest seen recently on the north Lincolnshire coast.
There have also been very high spring tides of late which have given excellent views of waders still in their magnificent summer plumage: knot, godwit and grey plover to name just three. For a bird watcher and photographer this is a wonderful time of year.