Aqualate Mere - 8 Feb 18

Here are a few images from Aqualate Mere today:

The public hide at Aqualate Mere just across the border enables close views of some water birds. What on earth is going on here...?
Oh: a Mute Swan cygnet having a bath. Note the beginning a swelling at the base of the bill as it matures.
Seems to be enjoying the experience.

This Grey Heron caught this large Pike in the reeds. The Grey Heron had to move to get settled-enough to eat it
Sadly it disappeared behind reeds to get the fish aligned so it could swallow it. Through the reeds we can see the fish’s head is already down the throat
Now the gills have got to be swallowed

Look: all gone – well just a tail-fin sticking out

A pair of (Eurasian) Wigeon. The duck in front shows the distinctive head shape and white belly. The drake shows the white upper-wing markings
From the hide birds come to the feeder. Photos of birds on feeders are none too attractive. With a bit of patience they can be photographed in a more natural environment as they approach or leave the area. We do not often study the pattern on the back of Blue Tits. Here we can
Now we see why most photos show the front: what a sweetie!

And a Great Tit waits its turn

A male Reed Bunting coming in to plumage: the brown and grey areas on the face will soon go jet-black. This bird, like a female I photographed at Priorslee Lake a week ago, has been ringed.

(Ed Wilson)