Hungary Day 5: The Reedbed Hide

July 30, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

This hide is very similar to the Pgymy Cormorant Hide - which if you read my post about that day is not a good thing! In fact, my experience of this hide made the Pgymy Cormorant Hide look good! Everything about the hide is excellent. It has windows on two sides for morning and afternoon use, and these go all the way down to water level for pleasing perspectives. The morning side looks out at the reedbed, whereas the afternoon side looks out to a sheltered pool, including a close bund enclosing a smaller area of water. Mattresses are available for lying on the ground, or else you can use camping chairs.

The one big issue is that there were almost no opportunities for photography as the birds just didn't come in. In ten hours we were treated to three brief visits by a Squacco Heron, none of which provided a decent image, and a Night Heron came in just once, sitting resolutely on a stump against a blank sky before flying off again without feeding. Beyond that we had a single Ferruginous Duck, and a number of Mallards and Greylags. This was one fifth of my holiday don't forget, and bitterly disappointing. Had the smaller pool been stocked with fish then the opportunities would have been amazing, but this was not the case. Consequently it ranked as a terrible day and I have no keepers.

Looking out of the hide windows, waterbirds passed overhead constantly - flights of Night Herons and Spoonbills, loads of Egrets and Herons. Bar what I've mentioned, none of them ever landed  - a real shame as the hide has the potential to be amazing. The best of what I did take are below. Much as I'd have like to have shown off a series of great images, when the birds just are not there, there is simply nothing that can be done. So not a good day at all unfortunately, but such is bird photography - nobody ever said it was straightforward, but hides are supposed to make it easier!

 

 

 

Gear

Lenses: A 300mm lens would be an asset for photographing birds that came along the bund (if they were ever to do that....), but otherwise a 500mm/600mm + extenders would be suitable - the longest you have, basically.

Cameras: Again, high ISO is useful, but unlike the Drinking Pool Hide, a 1.6x crop body would work fine. A few birds came close, but our experience was that most were far out. I used a 1.3x crop body almost exclusively.

 

Other: A tripod without a centre column, one that can go flush to the ground. Alternatively a beanbag or a skimmer pod would work. All wildlife photographers ought to have a tripod that goes to ground level though, in my opinion at least.

Mosquito repellent!


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