"Dancing On Ice" at Llangors Lake.

12th January 2018
It was still dark when I dragged myself out of a cosy warm bed this morning and there was another cold and frosty morning in the hide at Llangors Lake waiting for me. I must admit it didn’t seem a very nice prospect but the early bird catches the worm – so they say.
I left my car defrosting while I made some breakfast and filled my small flask with coffee, both very necessary in this cold weather. I’m lucky I can leave my car running because I have no near neighbours to disturb with my sometimes very early morning activities.
When I reached the bird hide at the lake it was surrounded by frost and the shallow water all around was frozen with a light covering of ice. A Grey Heron took flight as I approached, it had seen and heard me long before I had seen it, they are so wary, like all Herons. I quickly got inside the hide and settled down as the light got brighter, I had a few more windows open this time because there was no cold wind, unlike my last visit. Suddenly from under the hide a Kingfisher burst out into the morning light but it took one look at the frozen lake margins and quickly bid a retreat back into the flooded woods - It must be struggling to fish at the moment.
After a short time a few Wrens became active and ventured out onto the ice, they looked comical as they appeared unsure of their footing.

Then I could see movement in the reeds and surprisingly a Cetti’s Warbler also came out onto the ice it also looking unsure of its footing. I watched it quizzically peering down through the ice looking at what was underneath but unable to do anything about it.

I took a few shots of this comical situation and when I was pouring a cup of coffee, out of nowhere the earlier Grey Heron was flying past the hide and I quickly fired off a few frames in an attempt to catch it in flight.

I was checking the back of my camera to see the images and I casually looked up and unbelievably a Great White Egret was now flying past the hide, once again I had to quickly fire off a few shots before it drifted away.

I was becoming reluctant to look away in case anything else flew by and now I could hear a Water Rail squealing very close by, however, I didn’t pay too much attention to this because you can hear them all the time, but I should have because it came scurrying across the ice disappearing before I could do anything about it. I remember seeing them running quickly across the same small area of ice the last time I was in the hide so I thought ‘right I’ll try and catch one crossing’ because they are not as fast on ice as they are on water, (they have less traction). I waited and waited until I could hear the same squeal close by and sure enough one came out onto the ice and it ran across a bit slower this time, looking in my direction obviously unsure after its last crossing.

This didn’t mean I had much time, still only about five seconds, I immediately fired a load of shots as it crossed and disappeared into the sanctuary of the reeds.

It was quite an entertaining period but as the morning went on it became quiet and as I was getting cold I packed up and made my way home quite satisfied that I'd at least got a few shots - worth the effort of getting up early.