Wednesday, 22 December 2010

White Christmas

Today was my last day out with the camera before the Christmas festivities begin, another dumping of snow occured overnight and once again roads were rumoured to be a pain in the arse so i decided to wait until the work traffic had passed it's busiest point before heading out. I decided to stay in Hertfordshire and opted to try my luck with some local smews. Over the past few days a couple of drakes have moved from the completely frozen over Stockers Lake near Rickmansworth to Bury Lake next door, a slightly smaller fishing lake right next to the nature reserve.

Bury Lake is also frozen over but does have a patch of unfrozen water next to the bank crammed with hungry wildfowl. Since the weekend this unfrozen patch has also held the 2 Smew. From what i gather the water body was really quite small in size over the really cold weekend thus allowing great close views of the birds but obviously has begun to thaw out since then and with the Swans help as grown in size. When i arrived at the site both birds were over the opposite side of the water body and well out of reach of my lens so i had to wait in the cold and snow for them to come closer, unfortunately they never came really close....alot of dog walkers and people walked past and everytime this happened both birds drifted away and it was only when it was quieter that the birds swam towards me.

As i was about to give up 1 bird really started motoring towards where i was sitting, i kept still and he got a bit closer...i'd still say it was slightly out of range especially with the awful grey sky but it was still the closest i have ever been to this species and my best ever photo's. I'd like to go back and try again with some decent light but by the time Christmas is over i reckon they may have moved back to the main lake and will just be dots in the middle again, and i dont really blame them! Here are the best of a bad bunch!....


  1. Super images, Ben!! Have a great Christmas !!

  2. Thanks Richard! Merry Christmas!

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