11 February 2012
For Water Rail photography, this was just the opportunity I had been waiting for, a bright sunny morning after a very cold night with sharp frost, the outside temperature being only -4C as I left the car and headed off towards the lake. The first distractions were a Jay and a Song Thrush which allowed a few photos in the early morning light.
The lake was mostly frozen over, just as I had hoped for and about 30 Gadwall and several Shoveler were either on the ice or on the few remaining patches of open water along with about 10 Little Grebes. The latter are usually hard to photograph well as they are wary and quickly swim away if approached, but not today as the ice gave them little room to maneuvre and enabled them to be photographed at close range.
The usual Water Rail was soon found and performed very well, frequently venturing out onto the ice and giving my best ever views and photo opportunities. Kingfishers were also highly active and a breeding plumaged Little Egret surprised me by displaying to a Grey Heron which had landed near to it in the River Cray .