Right on my doorstep (well almost), actually half way between Bromsgrove and Droitwich, on the A38 by Webbs Garden Centre, is this Nature Reserve. Originally old gravel quarries from when the M5 was being built, now a major attraction for "twitchers" because one of the pools is saline and so attracts birds not usually seen other than at the coast, yet until fairly recently it had escaped my radar.
From our numerous visits to the Mawddach in mid-Wales, Les had developed an interest in birds (herons in particular) and we had actually joined the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust with a view to visiting Upton Warren more as it was so local.
I have visited twice since Xmas and intend to keep visiting. I am not a "twitcher" and never will be but I do find it very relaxing - and a new photographic challenge. My photos will not be "record" type photos, the sort which might go into a bird guide book, but more my own interpretation of colour, shape, light, movement, texture, reflections etc.
Even at a reserve and in a hide, the birds are a fair way away and big lenses are needed. My second visit (yesterday) was a spur of the moment affair, when there seemed to be the promise of a short spell of late afternoon sunshine, and in my haste, I forgot to check that my 300mm lens was in the bag. It wasn't so I had to make do with the 70-200 + 2x converter. "Only" 400mm when it should have been 600mm. It makes a big difference. Many of the experts will be using a 500mm and a converter - rather like photographing through a telescope, but the only way to get real close-ups.
Some of this last batch therefore are crops from the very centre of the original image. The image quality does suffer but it's all part of the learning process. I shall improve.