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Tuesday, 17 September 2013

August Bits and Bobs - 2013

I started on this post about a week ago, and it was originally entitled "August Odds and Sods", but then Doug McFarlane (who I consider to be one of my good internet 'pals') did a post with Odds and Sods in the title so I've changed it.

I've already, in previous posts to this blog, covered owls in August, my week in Yorkshire, plus a first foray into the world of macro. These are the bits and bobs that didn't fall into any of those categories.

At the end of July/beginning of August there was a young Night Heron at Thornton Reservoir, which is quite close to my home. I made three visits in an attempt to photograph this bird, but every time I went it had moved away from its feeding ground (where close views could have been obtained) to its favoured roosting spot (where it was a long way away!). This is the best that I could get (on 1st August) - you'll possibly be hard-pressed to find the bird! I had one last-ditch attempt before I went away to Yorkshire on 3rd August, but the results were even worse!

Night Heron (immature) - Thornton Reservoir
On 15th August, whilst on duty at Rutland Water, a juvenile Green Woodpecker was seen from Waderscrape Hide. It was about 30 metres away and the light was not good, but I did get a record shot - I don't get too many photographable sightings of Green Woodpecker!

Green Woodpecker (juvenile) - Rutland Lyndon reserve
The next day (16th August) there were two frogs on the lawn in our back garden (yard). We don't see so many of these now that we've lost the pond. I believe that these are both Common Frog, but there is a marked difference in appearance. Is this sexual dimorphism?

Common Frog - our garden
On 20th August I took a trip to Calke Park to join my wife and granddaughter for a picnic lunch. The owls weren't visible, but I did get some shots of some other birds. 

I believe the first one is a young Willow Warbler (rather than a Chiffchaff). It's the first time I've seen a warbler come to the feeders here.

Willow Warbler? - Calke Park
Nuthatch - Calke Park
Greenfinch (male) - Calke Park
Great Spotted Woodpecker (juvenile) - Calke Park
Jackdaw - Calke Park
On 29th August I was on Osprey duty at Rutland Water again. I've already posted some macro images taken whilst there. However, when the system is working properly, I now have the ability to hook my tablet directly into the camera which views the Osprey nest. These next screenshot images show all three juveniles which fledged from Manton Bay this year and are now, hopefully, either safely ensconced in West Africa, or well on their way there.

Osprey (juveniles 2J & 3J - Rutland Water, Lyndon reserve
Osprey (juvenile 2J & adult female) - Rutland Water, Lyndon Reserve
Osprey (juveniles 1J & 3J) - Rutland Water, Lyndon reserve
The following day (30th August) I was back at Rutland Water, with my pal Roger, who was up from Devon for a week. I've already published, on this blog, some macro images from this day, but I did take some shots of birds too, but nothing to write home about!

In their relentless spread northwards, there are now large numbers of Little Egret at Rutland Water, and it's not unusual to have ten or more in view at one time! Here's a couple of distant birds from that day.

Little Egret - Rutland Water, Egleton reserve
We had sightings of Hobby that day, but very distant, so I only managed a record shot. I'm pleased to say that I managed a slightly better shot a week or so ago!

Hobby - Rutland Water, Egleton reserve
One of the more exciting sightings was of a Stoat crossing the path. I totally missed getting a shot of it but, a few seconds later, a Stoat kit followed its parent. Being the dozy old git that I am, having just been trying to get shots of the Hobby in bright light, I'd forgotten to set my camera back to more appropriate 'general' settings. I completely fluffed it. Just for the record, however, here's the best of a thoroughly bad bunch!

Stoat (juvenile) - Rutland Water, Egleton Reserve
That's it for the August bits and bobs. I'm not sure what the next post will be about, but possibly/hopefully I'll have some more owl images to share with you!?!?


  1. I always see something new here; never heard of a green woodpecker. You have a beautiful collection of images.

    1. Hi Gail. We only have three species of Woodpecker in UK. The most common is the Great Spotted, which is quite timid. Less common is the Green, and they seem to be even more timid. By far the rarest is the Lesser Spotted which is only about the same size as a House Sparrow!! I've seen so few of these that I couldn't tell you how timid they are!

      Thank you for your kind comments - Richard

  2. I don't think I would grumble at a "odds and sods" post, I believe I might have ripped it off someone else anyway, best to recycle blog titles :o)
    However I think I would've been tempted to done on a post all about the Osprey alone, truly fascinating images which I can't help staring at and given how they were achieved, remarkably good quality, I also liked the Green Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Little Egret and Jackdaws I know how hard to get stoat images, they always see you first.
    Never seen a warbler come to a feeder.

    1. Thanks Doug.

      To be fair, the warbler didn't come to a feeder, but to the feeding station. That is, it sat on the periphery and preened, but didn't feed. I'm sure that the warblers that come to our garden are drawn to it by the fact that there's so much bird song, and so many birds around. For example, we had a Willow Warbler today whilst around 30-40 House Sparrows were making one heck of a racket!

  3. Your Bits and bobs of pictures are an interesting collection. I wish your Ospreys all the best wishes and hope they will make it to Africa and return to us safely. I think now all the Ospreys have left us, including the Dyfi's Ospreys. Wish them all good luck and safe journey.

    1. Thank you Linda. The migration process is always hazardous for Ospreys as they always travel alone. It's particularly problematic for newly fledged juveniles and I've heard it quoted that around 70% don't make it back to UK after their first migration. However it's also dangerous for well-seasoned birds - one of our Ospreys met his end in the desolate hills of Morocco last year (presumably it fell prey to an Eagle Owl). We know much about it as it had been fitted with a tracker and, a few days after it stopped moving, a Frenchman went to find it and sent the photos back of the remains and recovered the tracker for us. Another danger is getting caught up in offshore winds when traversing the Bay of Biscay.

  4. Hey owl images are hard to come by!! We have to work twice as hard to find those birds:) Just found a Barn Owl thanks to a tip....and some pellets on the ground. Fantastic birds you have here.....and those frogs are quite interesting. Such lovely little birds....and the Green Woodpecker is a stunner. Woodpeckers, Sapsuckas, and Flickers are all so different and interesting. Thanks for sharing your finds over in the other part of the world:) You'll find your owls:)

    1. Thank you Chris. I was delighted to see your Barn Owl image - well done!!!

  5. Fantastic pictures of all those birds, amazing.

  6. Passei para uma visita.
    Fotografias impressionantes.
    Alguns pássaros estão tão camuflados que parecem mesmo fazer parte da folhagem.
    Como a natureza é sábia!!!

    ¸.•°♡彡Ótimo sábado!
    ♡♫° ·.Bom fim de semana!

  7. Love that Jackdaw portrait Richard. Lovely line through the bottom with the wire and a lovely pose.

    You cant shake me off that easily, you know! I'll still be dropping by to see your cracking photographs and write-ups.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Christian. Be sure to let me know when your new website is up and running and I'll put a link on my blog.

      Best wishes



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