I’m glad to report that the telescope worked well. I’m not so happy with the tripod, but that is a different matter. Eventually it may become the subject of an entire post of its own.
When we arrived we noticed a couple of Egyptian Geese, though they pottered off before we unpacked the camera. There were also two Red Crested Pochard lurking round the entrance looking for handouts, which suggests they are escapees from a collection rather than wild birds from Europe.
The most memorable part of the day was climbing up to one of the hides using temporary scaffolding and stairs. They flexed a bit too much for my liking, and the experience wasn’t helped by having to carry the tripod. On the plus side, it’s better than having the hide closed.
Using the telescope I did manage to pick out some Common Gulls I’d have missed with th
e binoculars, and at the next hide I had great views of a small flock of Goldeneye where the males were starting a bit of courtship, stretching their heads out and swimming round the females. It wasn’t the full courtship, as seen on this clip, but it’s getting there.
We finished with a Little Egret. Someone told us that there was a Great White Egret about on the side of the Trent, but this one was the best we could do. It looked like an abandoned plastic carrier bag at first, sitting hunched and immobile by the side of the path. I’d have preferred to see a Great White Egret, but we’ve seen a couple before so it’s not a tragedy.
Back at the visitor centre we found there were now five Egyptian Geese, and managed to photograph some, despite the poor light.
Meanwhile, looking for a late lunch, we found that they stop cooking at 3.00 pm. I say cooking, but I mean toasting. The choice was therefore a sandwich (just the one) or big pieces of cake, or doughnuts. I’m supposed to be on a diet so we settled for pre-packed bakewell tarts. At £2.25 each they were distinguished more for their profit margin than their culinary excellence.