Another Sunday morning that started very early with a 4.45am alarm! Early morning good weather is like a magnet to me for getting out and enjoying the quietest and best part of the day. Although clear skies don't make for the best sunrises, there is still something special about being out before most people are waking and experiencing the dawn chorus and the clear Spring air.
This morning was no different, being able to enjoy the sun rising over the river on this cold, frosty start to the day.
The air was alive with bird song. As I made my way along the boardwalk in the photo above I had some great views of a Water Rail as it flew over and down into the reeds. They are very secretive birds, usually heard rather than seen. There was another good view of the Kingfisher and I look forward to the plans I have later in the Summer of getting up really early to staking out a location where I've seen the frequent; hoping for some great future photos. Two Swallows flew down the river, the first sighting for me this year as they return from migration, a sure sign of Summer on the way. The local Heron ambled past at one point with its slow, lazy style of flight.
I had limited time this morning, so didn't want to hang around one spot too long, and so continued to walk up the river catching a few different shots as the sun continued to rise:
Then I noticed the 'three amigos' turned up! Difficult to know whether it is the same three photogenic Canada Geese that have appeared in multiple photos this past week, but quite amusing to think they might be - probably wondering why this guy in camouflage and green is down their river so much!
I often consider how fortunate we are to have this river and stretch of countryside so close to home. A habitat created for nature as part of the Jubilee River construction that provides flood protection for local towns that border the River Thames. It's such a well designed stretch of river, providing so much natural habitat for bird life, animals and insects:
Time rushes by when you are enjoying yourself and suddenly it was time to pack up the camera stuff and make my way back to the car and leave the sun to continue to rise! Another fine start to the day.