If I'm going out 'birdwatching' it's usually either specifically to see, and hopefully photograph, owls, or it's when I go to do a turn of duty on the Osprey Watch at Rutland Water. I rarely go out to do any general birdwatching. However, whilst out looking for the owls, or when I am at Rutland Water, my camera sometimes gets used on other subjects. These are the 'incidentals' to my main interest.
Although this post is headed "July Incidentals", I'm going to start with an image from 20th June while Titus and I were on duty at Rutland Water, late in the evening. Titus called out for me to come to the door of the hide, and this is what I saw! It's a terrible picture (a scurrying creature shot in the pouring rain and terrible light - lens at 500mm with ISO set at 2,000 and an exposure of 1/40 second - I didn't stand a chance!) but, nevertheless, a remarkable subject - a Mole out above ground in the daylight! I've never seen one before!
|Mole - Rutland Water (Lyndon Reserve)|
Two weeks later, on 4th July, were at Rutland Water again. We monitor the Ospreys from over the other side of the water, so usually only get distant views. This first image shows the adult female Osprey on the perch above the nest, and the three juveniles on the nest. That evening we actually saw one of the juveniles 'lift off' for the first time, albeit only by a few inches (not more than half a metre).
|Osprey (adult plus 3 juveniles) - Rutland Lyndon|
Later that evening things went a little crazy as, suddenly, three adult Ospreys appeared. We weren't sure which birds they were but, unusually, there didn't seem to be any antagonism between the birds. In fact, two of them seemed to be together, and flying in formation, and the third came to join them briefly. Rutland Water's John Wright would be able to tell me which birds these were - if I'd managed better photos!
|Osprey - Rutland Lyndon|
I'm particularly fond of the evening shifts as it gives a nice balance of being able to talk to visitors during the early part of the evening, and then being able to enjoy the tranquillity and magnificence of the scene later in the evening. The reeds in front of Waderscrape Hide, from which we do the monitoring, are the regular haunt of Reed Bunting, Reed Warbler, and Sedge Warbler. These birds tend to come out and sing later in the evening if the weather is fine. The Sedge Warblers are my favourites.
|Sedge Warbler - Rutland Lyndon|
On the way home that evening, near to my Little Owl Site No.23, there was a Brown Hare in a roadside field. I do like Hares!
|Brown Hare - near Marefield|
Four days later, on 8th July, I was owling (unsuccessfully - it happens!) on my local patch. I couldn't resist trying for an image of this male Banded Demoiselle.
|Banded Demoiselle (male)|
Two days later (10th July), shortly after discovering a juvenile Little Owl at my Site No.02, whilst checking out my (now believed abandoned) LO Site No.28 this Pied Wagtail was bumbling about on a rock.
|Pied Wagtail (male)|
|Comma - our garden|
|Red Kite - near Hungarton|
|Common Tern, Great Crested Grebe, Coot - Rutland Lyndon|
|spider (unidentified) - Rutland Lyndon|
|midges - Rutland Lyndon|
|Stock Dove - our garden|
|Willow Warbler - my local patch|
|Common Darter - my local patch|
|Broad-bodied Chaser (male) - my local patch|
It will probably be a while before I post on this blog again as I'm off on holiday on 3rd August for a week. I'm going on my own and I'm hoping for some decent weather so that I can do some birding on the North Yorkshire coast, and maybe collect some fossils too!