Tuesday, August 2, 2016

An evening at Ouse Fen nature reserve

Evening photogrphy at RSPB nature reserve with wildflowers in Cambridgeshire by Martyn Ferry Photography
While not so prevalent at this time of the evening, at other times these wildflowers attract a whole host of
insects. I have walked through during the day and each step produces a kaleidoscope of colourful butterflies
and electric blue damselflies.

The other evening I took a little trip to the RSPB nature reserve at Ouse Fen in Cambridgeshire, so called because it is traversed by The Great Ouse. At 143 miles, its journey from near Bedford to the Wash makes it one of the longest rivers in the UK. Hence the ‘Great’ moniker, to distinguish it from several other waterways named the Ouse.

Cambridgeshire wildlife reserve at Ouse Fen in the early evening light by Martyn Ferry Photography
The light sun was starting to go down but thanks to a bank of clouds on the horizon, the sun wasn't really
catching the clouds.

Ouse Fen is a 30 year project (started in 2002) between the RSPB and Hanson Aggregates, who operate the largest quarry in eastern England on the site. And it is these quarry pits that are slowly being transformed into a vast nature reserve, some 28 million tonnes of sand and gravel will be extracted over three decades to create a 700 hectare wetland reserve which when complete, will boast 460 hectares of reedbed, the largest in the UK.

Photograph of sunset reflection at Cambridgeshire nature reserve by Martyn Ferry Photography
The swirl of the clouds when reflected give the water a whirlpool type effect.

The reason I was here is because as evening wore on it looked like there might be a decent sunset on the cards. So after taking a walk along the river, then branching off onto a woodland path, before entering the nature reserve itself, I set myself up next to one of the many lakes that populate this tranquil spot in the hope of some interesting celestial hues.

Sunset colours reflect in the calm waters at Ouse Fen by Martyn Ferry Photography
This was about as colourful as it got, which was better than nothing of course. And once I had rid myself of
my bovine stalkers it was a very peaceful spot to spend the last of the evening.

Unfortunately it wasn’t to be, the sky attained a mild blush but it never quite achieved the crimson embarrassment I was hoping for. The tranquillity wasn’t entirely present either thanks to small herd of inquisitive cows, who once spotting me, would not leave me alone. I couldn’t stay in one place for more than a few minutes before sandpaper rough tongues were marauding over my exposed arms, and dripping snouts were fidgeting with my camera equipment.

Cambridgeshire nature reserve in the evening light at sunset by Martyn Ferry Photography
I couldn't get enough of those reflections.

In the end I had to pack up and head for a different spot, it was impossible to get anything done. Thankfully though I found a place where I could get to the water’s edge, and spent a while getting some shots of the fading day, before packing up and heading back to the car while I still had enough ambient light to see where I was going.

Dramatic cloud reflections at Cambridgeshire RSPB nature reserve by Martyn Ferry Photography
With the sky now drained of colour I took one last shot of the reserve.

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