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Member#: 6644
Registered: 27-05-2007
Diary Entries: 1727

4th January 2019
Hiking - Walking: Lackford Lakes
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Friday 4th January - walk **** Ė Lackford Lakes - mainly cloudy.

Good first night away this year in our little VW campervan at Knettishall Heath, nice and quiet despite someone arriving at four in the morning to walk their dog, will we think thatís what they were doing!!! A bit chilly being under two degrees but we were soon toasty warm with the diesel heater on, it was then we noticed that the leisure batteries are running low and realised they are at least 6/7 years old!!! Thatís two batteries needed as well as having to replace our two sliding side windows for fixed glass as we were broken into in Spain and now both windows leak and are a security risk too! After breakfast it was just a 7-mile journey to meet up with our friends of 36 years, Neil and Linda Hurrell. We were going to another Suffolk Wildlife Site at Lackford Lakes, well known for birdwatching. After a catch-up over a cuppa Neil drove us all over to the lakes in their car and the carpark was fairly full, a popular spot:) We have been a couple of time before and this is the first time the impressive Visitor Centre has been open! I put my new Fuji 100-400 lens with a 1.4 converter on my lovely retro Fuji X-T1 to put it to the test on birds, not ideal as a bit cloudy and getting a fast-enough shutter speed meant ramping up the ISO!!! The only trouble when using this set-up, you do miss shoots of subjects near at hand! We set off on the good paths around the lakes at 10.40. Linda had a pocket full of birdseed to attract the birds but she neednít have worried as when we reached a bend with two dead trees the birds were there in force as seed had already been left. This area is baited regularly so the birds feed freely taking little notice of the birdwatchers and you can get nice pics with little effort, the star being the Nuthatch:) At Deep Mill we stop at Fullers Mill hide but there was not much about so carried on to Long Reach and the Bess hide passing trees full of lovely and very yellow Siskins:) We had a nice time sitting in the warm hide on comfortable carpet covered seats watching the birds. Nothing overly unusual just a lovely spot, the highlight being a Little Grebe catching fish. Mag then force fed us the remains of our Christmas chocolate before Neil got out the flask with hot drinks all round! We then went in search of the Kingfisher which is what these lakes are well known for. We passed the Double Decker hide and ended up at The Slough,s Bernardís Hide with its especially placed kingfisher fishing branch! Although sitting there a long time we only got a fleeting glimpse of the Kingfisher as it whizzed past shrieking! but we got a good show from a pair of Bull Finches which we donít see very often and Lapwings also there in good numbers:) Getting a little chilly now and needing the loo we decided to call it a day and head to the Visitors Centre. We passed on a cuppa and cake and set off back to Ixworth where Linda had prepared a delicious slow cooker turkey casserole:) We had a great chat in front of the log burner as two of their grown-up children, Lee and Clare drop in. We set off for home at 7.30 the end of a great couple of days:)

PS Ė a real mixture of pics from super sharp to blurred, you have to be spot on with your focusing with the big lens perhaps a day out with windsurfer and top wildlife photographer and friend Peter Cutts!

Days bird list:-

Bull finch (male and female)
Kingfisher (briefly)
Tree Creeper
Reed Bunting
Tufted Duck
Little Grebe
Black Headed gull
Great Tit
Marsh Tit
Blue Tit
Gold Finch
Canada Geese
Greylag Geese

Lackford Lakes

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