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University Parks, Oxford, Oxon, UK. 10 March 2017
EOS 7D mk II with EF 500mmf4 II & x1.4TC

Goosander are normally pretty wary and getting close enough is difficult. However I'd previously found that those on the River Cherwell, as it runs through the University Parks in Oxford, are a bit more obliging - probably because of all the people about in the park. Having said that I'd previously found they can be wary enough even here to make it difficult to get good results.

When up to three birds were reported again from here in the 2016/17 winter I thought it would be worth another go, but in February I paid a visit and found none! About a month later I tried again with much better results, finding a pair. But as always places like this are subject to disturbance and for some reason I was initially found by some guy who was fascinated by what I was doing. After a while I managed to shake him off, and returned to the most promising spot near the rollers for another try. Using a bit of fieldcraft I managed to get myself quite close to the bank when the birds were elsewhere and then waited under my bag hide. This worked really well for once, and both birds shortly reappeared and seemed unaware of my presence. So much so they came remarkably close. I took many photos, of which this is the one I like best (just).

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