If ever a photo utterly failed to do justice to a bird, this is it.
But photography aside: Roller – what a bird! I’ve wanted to see one of these in the UK for ages, and the lure of one in Suffolk on a sunny summer evening was way too strong to resist. Messrs Hawkins and Monkey felt the same way, and we were on our way by just after 5.30, for once with the A12 traffic on our side. Little more than an hour later, we arrived, and the Roller showed non-stop for a couple of hours, never particularly close, but giving excellent scope views… perched and preening for long periods, then spectacular in feeding mode as it sallied high and low after insect prey. Simply awesome – could’ve happily watched it all day, no exaggeration.
As the light started to fade, we too sallied high and low for food (of the Woodbridge fish-and-chip variety) and, like the Roller, met with considerable success. Near the end of our al-fresco dining, Paul got buzzed by a rather spectacular stag beetle, which landed on the house opposite. I happened to have a macro lens with me, and I think it’s fair to say that the following result is slightly better than the previous shot…
PS – the beetle was a lifer as well!