Saturday, 9 March 2013

Geographical Travails At Wushantou Reservoir

This morning I arrived at Wushantou reservoir just before 7am and took a boat out onto the water to try to do two things; one, to photograph the spillway and dam in profile once again, but in better lighting conditions (and from a different angle) than I had attempted to last year; and two, to trace the reservoir back to the point at which it is fed by the river and photograph that entry channel.

What happened was quite interesting; in heading westward toward the dam, I went the wrong way, got stuck and had to come back again! Then, having realized that I would no longer have time to mount a second approach to the dam along a different route, I decided to go straight to my second objective and approach the river's entry channel. I don't think I found that either, in fact I think I may have went too far and passed by it.

Now I do have of course have an imprint in my memory of the topographical outline of the reservoir from the google maps image and I knew more or less precisely where I was embarking from and I also knew that I had to circumnavigate a vaguely remembered landform to the south in order to approach the dam. However, I can guess why, in addition perhaps to inadequate planning, I went wrong today simply by reviewing the google maps image; the map is no longer accurate in several respects. What was once a solid arm of a peninsula to the west has now collapsed in its' middle section such that only a large island remains. I steered to the south-west of this island, mistakenly believing that I was heading on the correct north-west heading to approach the dam. To the east, in the direction of the river's entry point, there is another collapsed or sunken peninsula leaving a stranded island in the middle of an open stretch of water. It also seems to me that the waterway visible on the map image leading east to west along the reservoir's southern half no longer exists, although since I now know that that image is inaccurate in several respects elsewhere, I could of course be entirely wrong.

The trip was not a complete write-off however, because in addition to learning that the map is inaccurate (and of the possible landform changes that would seem to imply), I also managed to improve upon my previous best shots of the birds of prey. Here is a fairly clear and reasonably sharp picture of one of the Ospreys that nest at the reservoir...

And here, taken well back to the eastern most point of the reservoir are a pair of crested serpent eagles engaged it what may either be sparring or mating ritual (their breeding season is winter to spring), but I don't know which because I'm not confident of distinguishing male from female...

And lastly, here is a fantastically close shot of one of the larger (possibly older) birds perched on a low-hanging tree branch overhanging the water. Extraordinarily, he allowed me to get to within about three meters of him such that this shot below, although taken with the 250mm lens at full barrel, is not even zoomed in - that's how close I was! Along with this shot, I have another twenty-odd similar shots of very high quality...

Such as this one for instance (although the blogger platform / browser will render the image grainy - click on it to see the non-grainy version)...

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