Apr 12 25
My very good friend and climbing partner Istvan went out on the “hunt” again! As he hasn’t worked much on his English since his last post, he asked me to post for him again which I happily did because I think that his photos are just as wonderful as his winged models. Enjoy!
The other day I thought I would go on birdwatching to the reservoir of a swine farm as good weather was forecasted. I arrived at sunrise, there were ideal circumstances, the „water” level was low and now I didn’t have to be afraid of losing my conscience from the smell of ammonia. On the bank of the „reservoir” I could already see a lot of birds so I knew I would have a fab day.
Soon I noticed a birdie nearby as it was searching in the „mud”, so I went down on my tummy and started to follow it. My target was a nice and friendly Little Ringed Plover. It was moving around a lot but in the end I succeeded to shoot a picture.
I got really enthusiastic because this was my first bird of this kind! So I sneaked to the other side of the lake and noticed a pair of Black-winged Stilt in the shallow „water”. So down on my tummy again, I crowled ca. 20 metres and I tried to move very slowly and stay in cover of the weed. Then slowly I moved to the side so nothing would cover the picture and I got my prey!
Then I sneaked even closer and shot a few more pics of the gracefully moving bird.
I retreated and I decided to come back the next day and try my home-made bird watching tent!
But before I went home, as it was still early, I visited the fish ponds at Apaj, I thought I might be able to catch a Redshank.
On my way I visited Little Owl, maybe I could make a nice portrait of her but she did not feel like being a model today, she was hiding between the beams, as she would always do.
And I bumped into a funny, fawn-dressed hare.
The birdies were here again on this well-known spot but the water level was higher and the birds were shy so they didn’t make it easy for me. I was trying to get closer by car but had not much success but then, looking down next to the car I spotted a Eurasian Bittern!
I shivered with surprise!!
The bird wasn’t scared at all, it trusted its camouflage so much, it thought it could fool me by fading into the sedge.
Its trick is that it raises its head into the sky, tries to show its throat as a threat and tries to look like a reed, while it is trying to check whether we are fooled by squinting towards us!
So I could use the moment to get around the car and make a close-up of the stiff master of camouflage from a better angle!
A little bit farther I spotted a small member of the sandpiper family, a Jack Snipe, as it was plodding along.
I was happy about this little creature as I hadn’t been able shoot a photo of this type of bird before, although I couldn’t really make a good picture this time.
The Redshanks didn’t come closer so I couldn’t take good pictures of them either.
And then I spotted a ruff searching busily on the heap of manure beside the car! I hastily shot a photo of it as well before it could wobble back into the sedge.
And then I noticed a lot of yellow spots bouncing around the heap of manure.
So I rolled even closer with the car and so I succeeded to photograph the Western Yellow Wagtail.
And then a little later its relative, a White Wagtail as well!
And then, all of a sudden a Common Starling emerges from behind the heap!
I believe it didn’t put on its beautiful wedding dress for me but once it was wearing it I thought I would take a picture!
So I took whatever I could today, so I thought it was time to go home.
I wanted to start the car but the battery was flat! And I was there, in the middle of nowhere and the next main road was 3-5 km from me! I was lucky as I was at the fishponds and it was feeding time as a tractor was arriving soon, bringing ground corn for the fish in a huge tank. I asked the driver to help me, but to my surprise, he only made a face and promised me to talk to the fisher who had a tractor as well, so he would drag me out…
So after an hour of unwanted bird watching I made up my mind and started to push the car 1.5 km to a sloping part of the road where I could start it myself. Well, it wasn’t really fast to push the car on the narrow embankment but at least it was a perfect aerobic training.
When I reached the long desired slope a tractor came by. I thought it was the fisher to save me but it turned out that it was the same guy who fed the fish. While I was fighting with the car, he fed the fish, went back to the village, filled up the tank and here he was again! He asked me whether I had seen the fisher and promised to send him to save me!!
I know it was mean of me but I didn’t wait for the fisherman but succeeded to start up the engine and departed, not feeling sorry for myself as I knew I had my camera full of beautiful birds!
The next day I arrived early again. I could set up my watching tent before sunrise. I had barely made myself comfortable when I spotted a Eurasian Spoonbill flying over me, a bit to the left. Hmmm, I thought to myself, it’s a pity it didn’t take off here, on my side as it was a rare sight. But by the time my lips curved down the white silhouette flickered again from the other side. It only made a circle to make sure there were no predators or paparazzi around.
It took off right in front of me and started to filter the water through its nice flat beak!
Before the noise of my camera could scare it away I watched this noble bird for a long time as it was feeding and I didn’t even mind if I couldn’t make a good photo because the sight was priceless anyway. But it wasn’t mean to me, it gave me a portrait before leaving!
So I didn’t stay on my tummy for too much longer, I hurried home to process the pictures!
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