Sunday, 27 November 2011

Great Southern Diver

Down South we aren't blessed with many waifs n' strays like the marine lakes do along the coast. Normally rare Grebes and Divers dont find their way this inland and if they do they are usually plonked out in the very middle of one of our massive gravel pits with photo opportunities few and far between. However, for over a week now a Great Northern Diver has been present on a popular lake in Milton Keynes and what's more the bird (a juvenile) seems to be fairly confiding.

On Wednesday i had a free morning so arrived at 7.30am and after a walk around the lake located the Diver sleeping in the middle, it took another hour for the bird to start coming near and once awake and alert it continually was on the move seemingly doing a circuit over and over again and constantly diving. The circuit it chose was good for photography because it would come close to the edge of the lake and pop up in front of me but it only did this once then swam back away again and would not return that close for another 30-40 minutes! The circuit also saw the bird spend time too far away for photography, swimming into the sun and swimming under a bridge which was very dark so all in all it wasn't the easiest photography session....i had to be patient and as time wasn't on my side i was always worrying i would fluff the few chances i had to photograph the bird up close!

By 11.30am after 4 hours of lying flat down on the cold hard concrete the bird had come really close about 4 times and the light was starting to fade as some clouds rolled in, i had however got my best shots of this species and more importantly observed this birds behaviour and spent some real quality time watching a really great bird being busy and flourishing in a rather odd location, here are the images...

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