The reed beds at Titchmarsh LNR have traditionally always hosted a fair number of Water Rails, often heard but rarely seen these skulking little birds have a very private life style.
Imagine my surprise today, I had heard the reeds in front of the hide rustling on a number of occasions during my visit, I suspected that it was a Water Rail but had no expectations of seeing it ..... that sums up my track record with this species.
The temperature was dropping, the light was bad as the mist started to form, I was just about to call it a day when I looked down at a muddy puddle next to the reed beds right in front of the South hide.
No time to rub my eyes, straight onto the camera perched on a bean bag ....... 420mm lens combination full frame, I rattled off numerous shots, the bird kept on disappearing and then re-appearing over a five minute period at one point it had an energetic wing stretch before continuing to probe the mud with its bill.
Shooting from above is not ideal, but on the positive side it allowed me to get its legs and impressive claws into the images.
A regular viewer of my Blog and an excellent photographer, Douglas McFarlane, described the fourth image as the '' Ballet Dancer '' ... great title.
A first and very special addition to the list of birds that I have photographed, a cracking red letter day for me.