My first visit to the Fen in a long time, it was great to pick the camera up and get out again. The reedbeds are quiet now that the warblers have departed for somewhere warmer, and everywhere has a gentle autumnal glow. With little going on I pick out a Reedmace head to photograph, and two Grey herons flap lazily overhead.

 

Walking on I hear the unmistakeable ‘ping’ of Bearded tits in the reeds, are my ears deceiving me? I can’t see anything, so move on and find the cows. Just like the ponies, the cows graze the fen keeping scrub down and opening up the ground.

 

 

Turning away from the cows I spot the luxuriant brush of a fox bounding into the gorse. She stops and looks at me. I carefully unfold the tripod legs, but as I open the final one, *creeeeak*, I flinch and she bounds away. Two lessons learned: the sound and smell of the cows hides my presence, and my tripod needs oiling…

Out onto the open fen now, and there’s that sound again, a musical ‘ping’ bouncing around the reeds. I see a movement and spot them, a flash of blue, a flash of russet. Bearded tits! I can see three but hear more, they call to each other, exchanging ‘pings’, the sound is amazing. I can’t help smiling, the last time I saw Bearded tits here must have been around five years ago now. It’s great to see them. They fly together over the reeds and I estimate ten of them. That’s fantastic! I take a couple of shots, but they’re too far away. There’s some potential here though, and suddenly my enthusiasm for photography is re-kindled.

 

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