A male bittern booms loud and clear throughout the morning. There are three on the Reserve and the habitat they favour is carefully prepared to encourage their successful breeding. Three marsh harrier fly above us. A clear blue sky is reflected in freshwater pools ruffled by the wind.
The coincidence of good light and garganey out on open water is not to be missed. The birds are at a distance, light changes all the time and each image catches slightly different plumage detail. Only occasionally do my images catch the silver blue of the male's speculum. To see vermiculation on breast and belly the light needs to be just right. The female is a challenge and that white spot at the base of her bill is definitive. There's endless fascination in all this - the wonder of the garganey's long-distance migration, then their settling down into niche spring breeding territory. In hearing that rasping call and hoping to fix it in the memory when it's rare to hear it. And in coincidence of light, good posture and close-ups to reveal patterns and colours of breeding plumage.