A Day out in Skegness

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Bee orchid
As my wife, Heather, and colleague Millie were leading art workshops at Skegness Eco-centre, I dutifully volunteered to drive them down and help to load and unload all of their equipment as well as enjoying listening to the excellent Little Band and enjoying a BBQ in the evening. My plan though was to spend the morning and part of the afternoon at Gibraltar Point NNR. Before leaving for Gib I was delighted to be shown and photograph the bee orchid illustrated. I was parked up at the reserve by 9.30 and soon heading for the nearest hide at Jackson’s Marsh spotting a late hunting barn owl on the way. I hadn’t been here long before the torrential rain arrived. Fortunately it didn’t last long before the weather turned warm and sunny, if very windy. Everything is long way away at Jackson’s but I did manage pictures of avocet and little egret before moving on to the hide at Croft Marsh. Here the scrape is much closer and better for both the observer and for photography. Immediately noticeable was the avocet sitting on eggs just to the right of the hide. Avocets were perhaps as common as any other species and I was happy with the many photographs I was able to take. Amazing to think that not so many years ago I was delighted with distant views of these birds at Minsmere and their arrival back into the country at this reserve prompted their use as a logo for the RSPB. Other birds of note were two stunning summer plumage black-tailed godwits which also provided opportunities for photography, a large group of little gulls which were too distant for pictures but were a first for me, a single green sandpiper and several noisy sandwich terns. All too soon it was time to think about making a move and I returned to the car via the fen lagoon hide in the hope of some little egret shots. I was not to be disappointed as there was a bird feeding just in front of the hide and it came so close that I couldn’t see it for the steep banking. Before leaving I took some landscape shots of the boats in the haven – good light but not the best time of day. All in all though an excellent day out.