It's been one hell of a miserable week. Or a fantastic week if you're a fan of rain. Noticing the forecast promised sunshine first thing, I got up early, tried and failed to persuade Rob to join me, and headed down to Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve, arriving at about 7am when it was still too dark for either of the two lenses I'd brought (Bigmos plus the 180mm macro, which will henceforth be known as BigMac).
I shuffled slowly northwards and parked myself in the Willow Hide, where the sun was slowly turning the lake to greeny-gold, and watched a bunch of Coots, a few Gadwall (oh, they're back!), GC Grebes, Mute Swans and so on going about their business. There was a lot of exposed mud in front of the hide, but the only Green Sandpiper I could see was on the far shore and looked perfectly happy to stay there. I wandered back the way I came, wondering about staking out a spot by the North Lake.
This is a tiny, four-person hide, looking across the northern edge of the North Lake. I settled in and scanned the trees - nothing. Then she flew out, giving me a brief, lovely view of her outline as she zoomed hard right, but no opportunity to point the Bigmos at her through the hide's narrow slots. Muttering swear words, I looked back in front again and nearly fell off the bench.
It was obvious that this hide was, at least of late, THE place to photograph the local Kingfishers. Soon all four seats were full, and when a fifth person showed up, I left, happy with the pics I'd got (for today, at least).
I switched to the BigMac after that, and started looking at insects. The sun was up properly now and it was becoming quite warm. Darters (Common and/or Ruddy) darted about.
ETA - one of my budskis on the RSPB forums has IDed Mr Gingerbum as a Large Rose Sawfly - Arge pagana. Thank you very much for that, Maria :)
Unfortunately no return visit from the Kingfisher/s, but I'm going to make a return visit sometime this week. The Kingfisher sticks were still pretty shaded by the time we left (about noon), but I still think good shots (better than the ones I got today) should be possible.