This year, even with three months still left to go, has been one of my most enjoyable to date. Almost every weekend has seen us out and about both locally and further afield including over a month spent exploring the wilds of Scotland. Along the way we’ve experienced just about every weather imaginable, revelled in fabulous wildlife encounters and eaten more pasties than is probably advisable. We’ve summited Ben Nevis, gone eye to eye with hunting Skua, watched Dolphins in crystal clear waters and walked through fields of Sunflowers. And that’s just for starters.
Along the way I’ve taken thousands of photos but all have remained unedited, languishing on various hard drives along with their accompanying stories.
Until now that is.
With the nights drawing in once more it’s time for me to finally sit down, open up Photoshop and a blank Blogger post and get those creative juices flowing. Having so much material is however proving both a blessing and a curse – where to start in the huge editing backlog and what to share first!
Making matters more complicated is that I have now switched from Windows to Mac meaning a change in workflow and new software to get to grips with. Nothing you’d think that should be too challenging for a software engineer by trade but letting go of those niggling doubts about the quality of ones own work is a hindrance that I’m yet to beat. My solution? Just get stuck in and having come across a couple of great images from an April trip to the RSPB reserve at Ham Wall, I think I’ve found just the subject to inject some life back into this blog.
The Reed Warbler above was probably my best encounter with the species all year and perhaps unsurprisingly yielded my favourite shots to date of this often elusive bird. Sat singing just off the path we were treated to virtually unhindered views and for those of us that have spent many hours scouring reed beds, you’ll know how opportunities like this don’t come around all too often. In fact so confiding was this individual that in the end we had to walk away with the bird still happily perched and belting out its tune.
Elsewhere Ham Wall had been less kind photographically but simply spectacular in terms of the array of species on offer. Bittern were booming almost constantly during our visit and we ended up enjoying multiple sightings across the reserve. Great White Egrets were also well represented as were Marsh Harriers not to mention all the usual migrants that you’d have expected at that time of year. Top billing though had to go to a pair of Hobby which were busy hawking for insects right above one of the hides. In the end we actually stood outside looking up in order to view the spectacle at its fullest and boy were we not disappointed. Much like the aforementioned star of this entry we both seldom see Hobby so this was a real treat and a fine way to round off our visit.
And with that consider your appetites suitably whetted. I’ve got a few more days of photo editing ahead of me before the posts can start flowing freely but I hope you’ll stick around and that the barren blogging months will not have been in vain.