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Friday, 2 July 2010

Great Day at Rutland Water - on 29th June, 2010

Due to turns of events at Rutland Water, I have not done much in the way of Osprey Watch duties this year. I was very glad, therefore, when an opportunity came up for me to do a turn of duty on Tuesday evening. I arrived at the Lyndon reserve with a little time in hand and first went to Shallow Water hide where I found a reasonable variety of birds, including a juvenile Shelduck and a Barnacle Goose. This latter bird is obviously of dubious origins, and is possibly the bird that I've seen hanging around on the Egleton side in previous years.

Shelduck - juvenile

Barnacle Goose

I only had ten minutes here before I had to set off for Waderscrape hide for my 17h00 start. On the way I stopped to photograph a Large Skipper.

Large Skipper

I arrived to find both Ospreys in attendance at the nest, and the three Osprey chicks (now rather large!) clearly visible through the scope - but too far away for photography with my lens. I was told, on arrival, that the Water Rails had been showing well with their very small chicks.

I had not been there long before a Grass Snake put in an appearance, making its way up one of the channels towards the hide. It then spent some time with its front end out of the water, sniffing around with its tongue flicking. It then started exploring the other channels, giving some quite good views. I'm not very knowledgeable about snakes, and wondered if a Grass Snake might take a Water Rail chick.

Grass Snake

Water Rail chick

Water Rail with chick (can you spot the chick in both pictures?)

Water Rail

Towards the end of my shift (which was at 20h00), the Reed Buntings started performing. One, in particular, seemed to enjoy 'fairground thrills'. He landed on top of an extremely tall and thin vertical stem of grass and rode it whilst it bent over and dipped into the water under his weight! I just managed to capture the last part of this action, as shown in the last two images below.

On my way home, I stopped off to see if I could find a Little Owl at my site No. 4 (no owl seen since January). After an hour or so, I gave up, and set off back to my car. By now it was 22h00 and dark. I'd nearly got to my car when I noticed three fence posts on the far side of a field with strange looking finials! Little Owl site No.13!! There were two adults and a owlet. I tried some photography but at a great distance, ISO 3200, and handheld 80th second the images were still too dark (and far too noisy) to do anything with.


  1. Nice one Richard, site No 13 and your first Juvenile sighting!!!!

  2. Sorry I've not replied before now - been away for a week. I went back to No.13 later that week, and saw nothing! I think that I possibly chose the worst week possible for going away as I think that I've minimised my chances of decent sightings of juveniles for this year.


I'm pleased to report that the anonymous spam problem seems to be solvable without using word verification. I'm now just using the 'Registered Users - includes OpenID' option in Blogger settings, and I'm not getting any spam - touch wood! I've also not received any contact from people saying that they are no longer able to make comments.