As I crested a small rise the view opened out before me to reveal a large lake surrounded by reed beds fringed with scrub. It was a huge area and somewhere among the masses of shrubs and reeds is my target. Allegedly.
How do you cover such a large area efficiently? If you are in a group you spread out. As for me, I had a secret weapon, one that I married a long time ago. She is an ace spotter and a bluethroat is one bird that she really wanted to see. Like a bloodhound hot on a trail she was off in a flash and it wasn’t long before she called. “Where are you? Go down the track 200m, turn right and keep going until you see me.” Like the obedient husband that I am I did as I was told and after ten minutes of walking I was looking up at a singing bluethroat.
Bluey would sing a little, hop around a bit and sing some more. Then he flew away. I didn’t panic though. Territorial singing and flitting around is typical of this small bird and I knew that it would return, eventually. Truthfully, it returned in no time at all. Typically, it landed on a different shrub and I had to try and work my way in all over again. And then again, and again.
Nature photography favours the patient and eventually I began to get some pictures that I was reasonably happy with. As for my spotter, she was happy from the first moment that she saw this spectacularly coloured bird.