I had heard about a Bearded Reedling couple not too far from where I live. They had been seen around the same spot for several days, so it was worth giving a try. In my mind were images of frozen reeds, blue skies and “Backlit Bearded Reedling Breath”.
As usual, things worked out completely different. Me and a friend of mine could not find the Reedlings, nor the Bittern we had hoped for. We did get to see a Common Rail and a female Hen Harrier. A bit disappointed I decided to check the area again after a well deserved cup of coffee. And there they were, in the reedbeds right across a small pond.
Because of the fierce wind, they stayed relatively low and to the wrong (sheltered) side of the reedbeds, making it impossible for us to get a clear view. The only way to approach the (oblivious) Reedlings was across the ice. It looked too thin and made crunchy sounds, but I tried anyway. I shot against the light because the sun was already too high for nice frontlit images. Something I don’t regret. What I do regret was cheering about having returned to the shore safely, with still two steps to go. So yep, I fell through the ice and got two very cold feet and calfs. My friend Gerard exposed a lot more of his bodysurface to the freezing water. Hope you’ve warmed up by now…
Bearded Reedling; Canon 1D Mark III w. 500/4 IS and 2x; 1/320s at F11 and ISO 400; Gitzo tripod