A day on “The Island”

The third week of July 2015 had been a long time in coming, I was given the opportunity to make this visit back at the start of February, some five month`s before.

Arising at 4.45am, much to the disgust of my wife and two cats, a quick shower, coffee and a hastily eaten breakfast, I was out on the road.  The trusty sat nav said M1, M25, M11,A120,A12,A14 and local roads, a journey of some 114 miles or so – OMG, mind you at that time of the morning it is quite nice, you have the roads more or less to yourself.

After what seemed an age, I was driving through a local forest, the day before had been “wall to wall” rain nearly the whole day, so floods were the order of the day, good time was made, arriving at the quayside around 8am, in plenty of time for the boat.

Around 8.30am other members of the party started to arrive, along with our trusty boat, “The Regardless”, gear aboard, we made our way up river, now as I said before, the day before had been heavy rain and wind, we were running against the tide and the prevailing wind, so we were able to enjoy the spray going over the boat, with more than one or two members of the party getting a good mouth full of sea water!!!!!!

After a short sail of twenty minutes or so, we knew we had reached our destination, as we were greeted by this welcoming sign………

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Well, I never could read, our boat moored alongside the jetty, we all proceeded to offload the camera equipment and provisions for the long day ahead.

I decided to stay sitting on the shingle alongside a large gorse bush near the warden`s hut, as it was understood that this was one of the more productive area`s on the island for Hares, well I didn’t have to wait long, a hare came and sat on the other side of the bush to my left, I had to lean back slowly into my camera bag and get my 28/70 F2.8 lens out, carefully and quietly put it on to my camera, the result can be seen below, a shot through the gorse bush.

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I make no excuse for the image above, my go at being a bit “arty“.

I gave this location a couple of hours before moving to the hide at the far end of the island to try to get shots of the Spoonbills, even using a 800mm lens with a 1.4 convertor attached, they here just to far away, shots of the Oyster Catchers, Avocets and Little Egret’s were obtained, just as I was thinking about going back to the wardens hut for some hot soup and bread, when a Kestrel paid a visit.

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It kept hovering for many minutes, diving a number of times unsuccessfully for prey that was concealed within the reeds along the edge of the scrape.

OK, back to the warden`s hut for hot soup and bread, feeling fully refreshed, back out to knackering my knee`s on the shingle which surrounds the gorse bushes where I was concealing myself from the Hares.

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After a short while, this little Leveret came out to feed on the surrounding undergrowth presenting a number of photo opportunities.

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It was quite unphased by our presence.  A call went up, an adult Hare had been seen of the foreshore, so in to Mo Farah mode, grabbing the camera and tripod and  running hot foot to the river’s edge.

The Hare sat still for a long while feeding on the sea Lavender that grows wild, for some reason something spooked it, it hunched its back and pulling its ears down and in, I just knew it was going to run, half a press on the shutter, locking the focus on the subject, my guess was correct, the Hare went in to a full blown run.

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It went along the river bank for some distance before settling down to feed again on the sea Lavender, the shot below for me is the shot of the trip.

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All too soon the day was over, it was time to head back to the jetty to meet our boat for the short journey back to quay.

In the short crossing back to the quay, in my mind I had already planned a return visit next spring to catch the Hares boxing…….

 

Please click on any image for a larger view.

 

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