Little Egret, fishing at low water in Porthleven harbour, in the far southwest of Cornwall; 18 Oct 2016.

This bird was stalking through the shallows, thrusting down with its bill towards any fish appearing in the clear water.  The circular ripples from the most recent of these thrusts can be seen spreading out in front of it, swamping smaller ripples emanating from its moving legs.  The slightly blue-tinted play of light on the water makes a useful, abstract backdrop in the photo’s upper half.

I was a very active and enthusiastic birder for decades, from 1967 to 2002 in fact, and it really shaped my life – for example I went to Kenya “for a year or two” in 1977 to see African birds, and only managed to tear myself away from the place 12 years later!

And when I started birdwatching in 1967, this little white heron was a rarity in Britain – in fact I can recall travelling quite a long way in Wales, in 1971, to see one.  But now it is expanding its range northwards into the UK, and flocks of 10-20 or more often occur out on the Somerset Levels, for example.

Many wild birds have taken a real beating in my “green and pleasant land” during my lifetime, mainly due to urban sprawl, pollution and industrialised farming, but here is an example of a wild creature on the up, something which is very good to see.

This image is a substantial enlargement from the original – the bird was a long way from me – and I must say I’m impressed with this Fujinon telezoom’s performance at such long range.  This lens gives focal lengths very close to the 70-300 of my favourite Nikon lens, and I find it extremely useful.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window.

X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 800 ISO.


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