Sculthorpe Moor

Sunday morning was beautifully sunny so I headed over to the Fen, where disappointingly there were no more exotics! All was a bit quiet, except for lots of small birds chirping away. After a long walk, I returned home with exactly zero photos. Not a problem really, I’d say 90% of a wildlife photographers time is spent NOT taking photos. I’ve just had a bit of luck recently!

I was kindly invited out on a trip to Sculthorpe Moor, a Hawk and Owl trust nature reserve near Fakenham. More info about the reserve can be found here: Last time I visited, which was quite a while ago, I failed to get a shot of a Marsh Harrier, which flew right in front of the hide! This time, we didn’t see a harrier until we were leaving, perhaps it’s a little early for them. I did manage to get some photos of a Water rail. These birds rarely seem to leave the cover of the reeds, and are more often heard than seen. So it was a treat to have two in front of the hide, out in the open!

The only difficulty with photographing from a public hide, is the shooting angle. This hide is especially tall, so you are always shooting down onto your subject. Photos shot in this way tend to lack impact and intimacy, the best wildlife images tend to be those that are on the same level – eye level preferably, as the subject. Still, I was chuffed to see and have prolonged views of such a normally difficult to see bird.

There are plenty of feeders around the reserve too, with a few opportunities for more common birds. Here’s a Chaffinch in a natural setting.

Quick update about the Rhea on the Fen – I’m happy to report that the owners came and managed to round it up, and it’s now safely back home!


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