It was then that the photographer in me took over and I headed for the only place on the mere that I knew would give me a chance of photographing Water Rails, the hide me, Ash and Aaron have dubbed the "tin can" hide due to its small size and cramped interior. Unfortunately I made the amateur error of entering the hide in a not so gentle manor, resulting in a great view of the rear end of a bird disappearing into the reeds as soon as I sat down. Luckily I knew it would return after a while and my patience was rewarded as within 20 minutes it re-appeared and tentatively made its way out into the open; typically whenever I tried to get a photo there was a perfectly placed reed obstructing part of the view. After making it halfway across the gap in front of the hide it suddenly remembered that it had evolved wings which enabled it to fly, and promptly flew the short distance to the reed bed on the other side of the hide and out of sight.
Throughout the visit I had been hoping to chance upon an early sand martin but by midday it was apparent that they were staying away from the mere, so I decided to take a walk round Stanley Park and hopefully get some good shots of the herons collecting nesting material on the island. A large sign had been errected next to the side entrance to the park, and on closer inspection it revealed that the RSPB had a stand set up at the far end of the lake to show people the nesting Grey Herons. I headed round to the heronry and got talking to the people who were manning the stand and showing people the herons that were on the nests through a couple of set up telescopes. I was amazed by the number of people who seemed to be genuinely interested in the birds, especially the number of younger people looking through the scopes and asking questions. There was just 1 bird that was repeating the process of flying down to the bank of the lake and finding a suitable twig, getting it in it's beak and then flying once round the island before landing on its nest and adding the stick to the intrical web of wood woven into the round shape that we all recognise. This bird provided a good photo oppourtunity for me and another photographer present and I spent 2 hours there chatting to the voulenteers and enjoying the birds in the glorius mid afternoon sunshine and high temperatures.