Birding at Fairburn Ings

Reed BuntingI visited this RSPB site for the first time last Friday and wondered why I had neglected it for so long. Only a 40 minute drive from home it was a pleasant surprise, despite it being a bitterly cold day I spent the afternoon wandering from hide to hide. On route I was rewarded by a good view of one of the resident Kingfishers and it is always a pleasure to see this iconic bird. Some of the paths were in a bit of a state due to heavy plant traffic but after wading through the mud I had some quite distant views of ┬áTeal; Tufted and Goldeneye ducks. At the feeding stations I watched a pair of Bullfinches which I don’t often see at home but I had lost all feeling in my hands by this stage and headed back to the car when I saw someone with an impressive long lens photographing something down at the bottom of the boardwalk near the car park. Now sadly we can never resist sidling up to see if other photographers have spotted something interesting, I could see the birds he was photographing and I could see they had a distinctive white moustache and a bib but I had to ask him what they were (always embarassing) he kindly informed me they were Reed Buntings. I spent some time trying to get some photographs but they rarely stayed still for long. With the white moustache these little birds reminded me of a Colonel Blimp type character with a handlebar moustache and whiskers. Check out the sketch and see if you can see what I mean. I have added some watercolour paintings to my web site and I am still enjoying the spontaneity of watercolour as opposed to the more photographic quality of my usual style.