Backlit beardsI 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

One Comment

  • Hi Marijn,

    Nice story, nice photo.
    I personally preferred to see some more blurry reed plumes in the background, forming a dotted pattern, but I must say this picture is more than worth a couple of wet and cold feet.

    We had a very plesant morning there and I can assure you I’ve warmed up by now, looking at your blog at sunday afternoon with a glass of red wine!


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