Notes on Use of This Blog


1. I have a policy that I always reply to comments on my blog, even if it's just to say thank you.

2. Please don't submit comments that include your own web address. For obvious reasons, they will not be published.

3. I'm now on Twitter - @RichardPegler1

Monday, 31 October 2016

Making The Most Of It - on 28th October, 2016

John had been unable to make our usual Thursday afternoon out as one of his dogs was poorly (now OK, I'm delighted to say), so we switched to the Friday.

The day started very dull and damp but, fortunately, things had dried out by the afternoon. It remained very dull and grey for the rest of the day, but it was quite warm for the time of year and it wasn't windy - although it did get a bit breezy later on.

I set off for John's place, stopping at my Little Owl Site No.02 en-route. An owl was out on the remains of the roof, so I took a shot from inside the car. I'm concerned that the building is now decaying very rapidly, with around 50% of the roof disappearing this year.

Little Owl (Athene noctua) - my Site No.02
Having transferred to John's car, we set off towards Rutland Water, making a brief diversion to check on one of our owl sites. One was spotted sitting in the nest opening. The leaves are just starting to turn , and I wouldn't be surprised to find the leaves all gone by the time of our next visit.

Little Owl (Athene noctua) - my Site No.34
There were no further sightings of owls as we continued to Rutland Water. We arrived at the Egleton Reserve side and, as a couple of Peregrine had been seen earlier on Lagoon 4, we made our way there. 

We'd not gone far along the path when I called for John to stop. There was a Wood Mouse on the path in front of us. It seemed to take absolutely no notice of our presence. At one point it ran into the grass beside the path, but it didn't take long to come back. It was finding something to eat, but I was unable to see what, although I believe it was a seed of some sort. I suspect that, at one point, we were photographing it at a distance of around one metre - maybe closer!! Here are a few images.




Wood Mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus) Rutland Water, Egleton Reserve
Whilst John went to see if he could see the Peregrines from Sandpiper Hide, I went to scour a hedgerow for dragonflies, as we'd already seen a few Hawkers (Migrant, and probable very late Southern). I didn't have any luck, although a Peregrine flew over heading towards John. However, John didn't see it as he was scanning elsewhere through his binoculars.

We continued to Shoveler Hide, where the area near the hide was virtually totally dry. There were a few birds, including Redshank and Curlew, visible at around 30 metres, but the light was awful. John pointed out the Great White Egret in the middle of a group of Cormorants  on an island too far away for sensible photography. Our luck changed when the GWE took to the air and flew towards us, landing only about 50 metres away. I'm relatively pleased with the images I got, considering the light conditions - more by luck than judgement as I wasn't set up for flight shots.










Great White Egret (Egretta alba) - Rutland Water, Egleton Reserve
The GWE waded south round a headland, heading towards Buzzard Hide, so we headed off there. At Buzzard Hide, I opened a window and put up a couple of Cormorants that, unbeknown to me, were just below the window. This, in turn, put up some ducks that were further away, and these put up the GWE which flew back northwards again!

We spent more time looking around, but it was getting extremely dull now, and although I took many more photos, they've virtually all been consigned to the recycle bin. If I tell you that this (taken when we returned to Shoveler Hide) is possibly the best of the others, you'll see my point!

Curlew (Numenius arquata) - Rutland Water, Egleton Reserve
Shortly after arriving at Rutland Water, we'd seen an RAF Chinook helicopter fly over,  in an unusual colour scheme. On the way back to the car this same helicopter flew over again, and I managed some slightly better photos that enabled me to identify it. The aircraft is Chinook HC.4 ZA712/W of 18(B) Squadron, based at RAF Odiham (Hampshire), uniquely decorated to celebrate 100 years (1915-2015) of that squadron. I understand that it is shortly to be returned to 'standard RAF colours'.

RAF Chinook ZA712, over Rutland Water Nature Reserve
The journey home didn't yield any excitement but, in spite of the lousy photographic conditions, we'd had a pretty good time, with both of us considering the Wood Mouse to be a charming highlight.

I have no idea, at this stage what the subject of my next post might be.

Thank you for dropping by.

38 comments:

  1. Hey, it looks like a fun time. Sometimes birding treks are a lot like that:) Great photos. Overcast days can be the worst but I think your pics are great! Hope all is well! Chris

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We did have an enjoyable time, Chris. Thank you for your kind words. Things have not been brilliant of late, but seem to be getting better - fingers crossed!

      Best wishes - - - Richard

      Delete
  2. Fantastic images. I love the Wood Mouse, lovely thing. And, the Great White Egret, special.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Bob. That Wood Mouse was really cute!

      Delete
  3. Charming highlight indeed Richard, your last full frame - and header - image of the Wood Mouse is brilliant, as are your GWE shots.

    Kind Regards

    Pete.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Pete. I think the Wood Mouse made a bigger impression on me than the GWE!

      Best wishes - - - Richard

      Delete
  4. Hi Richard: Sounds like the two of you had a fine day out together, and even as a lifelong birder, I have to say that the Wood Mouse is absolutely charming, and I am sure gave you a good deal of satisfaction. But I have to confess that I was encouraged to see those Little Owls too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To get so close to that Wood Mouse was indeed a special time, but also a little worrying as it will probably soon fall victim to something that finds it attractive for another reason!

      Not withstanding the evil weather we've seen a fair bit of lately, I've been ramping up my time looking for Little Owls - so far, with mixed results. Now that the leaves are really starting to fall, searching for them is starting to get easier. Watch this space.

      Delete
  5. That roof in the first shot does not look good, more like part of France than the UK! So many tumbling down buildings here which sadly the youngsters of today cannot afford to renovate or want something more modern. So glad you saw the owl though.
    Love the mouse so cute :-) Ah I was hoping John had found the Peregrines, my all time favourite falcon. I had a boss in Rhodesia who was also a falconer, I learnt to love all his birds and learnt to train with him. I am not keen on birds in captivity but these birds seemed to love him and flew free every night and hunted live.

    Love all your photos, have a good week and keep healthy Diane

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Diane. That roof really is in a terrible state, and anyone entering the building would be taking a serious risk!

      Your comment about the youngsters not being able to afford to renovate buildings in France is interesting, but explains why so many Brits in recent years have been buying up old properties to renovate in France. The prices we have seen quoted seem ridiculously low by British standards. I guess there will be fewer Brits buying now, however, because of Brexit.

      I remember you previously mentioning your falconry experiences in Rhodesia. Whilst I am not a fan of falconry, I think that most falconers are quite passionate about their birds, and treat them extremely well. There are those that don't, however, and I guess that this is often brought about by a change in circumstances of the falconer.

      The week is improving, thank you!

      Best wishes - - - Richard

      Delete
    2. Certainly that is why the Brits were buying here because prices were low by British standards. There are though so many places falling down as the parents die, and the houses are left to the children. If they all agree to sell then there is always a chance the building my survive but often the children do not agree or the place is not suitable to sell without some work done first. Things will change now, as until Brexit is sorted people will have problems with the exchange rate, and not knowing what will happen with pensions and health care. It could make a huge difference to us all who are already here but only time will tell. Keep well Diane

      Delete
    3. I hope that the outfall from Brexit will not make things uncomfortable for you over there, Diane.

      Delete
  6. Great sequence Shotton the GWE coming into land. The Wood Mouse is adorable I've often found them to be quite timid and relatively easy to get close to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Doug. Now you mention it, I remember a superb post by yourself showing a pair of Wood Mice playing on some stems, well off the ground.

      Pls. see apology below!

      Delete
    2. P.S. I'm missing your own posts to your blog, Doug. I hope you come up with one soon!

      Delete
  7. Hey Richard! Wonderful sightings! The owl is enough for eating when the mice displayed :-) Incredibly great photos storks. Greetings

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Anne. The photo opportunities might not have been great, but I certainly appreciated them!

      Pls. see apology below!

      Delete
  8. Hi Richard, we most certainly had a wonderful afternoon and for me the Wood Mouse was the highlight, Saving my Wood Mouse images for my next Post. Lets hope we can get rid of this dull weather and get some decent light. Also lets hope we can start to find some Little Owls. All the best and see you soon. John

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a most enjoyable afternoon , John.

      I hope yesterday's injury is easing for you now. See you tonight for the LROS meeting - - Richard

      Delete
  9. What a special treat to see and photograph a Wood Mouse,stunning images,but the Icing on the Cake,for me was your Great white Egret flight Shots,truly amazing captures.
    John.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, John. Those two short session realy made our afternoon worthwhile.

      Best wishes - - Richard

      Pls. see apology below!

      Delete
  10. Sounds like you had a wonderful time and that is an excellent shot of the egret and the little wood Mouse

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. THank you, Margaret. Sorry not to have replied before now - please see below!

      Delete
  11. Hello Richard!:) I love all your photos. Sweet capture of the Little Owl, on the precarious building, which I hope will survive the winter! The Little Owl in that wonderful old tree is a magical photo, and looks like it belongs in a fairy story book. Your endearing captures of the Wood Mouse are very special, and the beautiful captures of the Great White Egret are stellar,...how graceful he looks in flight. A most enjoyable post.:)
    Best Regards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Sonjia, for your very kind words. Best wishes for the weekend - - - Richard

      Delete
  12. Love the cute mouse pictures, the Wood mouse is one of our regular visitors here in my garden :) they do seem to be less afraid of us than the House mouse.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Lin. Doug McFarlane made a similar comment about Wood Mice being confiding. He took some wonderful photos of them a while ago.

      Best wishes - - Richard

      Delete
  13. Hello Richard, First of all sorry for the late reactions on your blogs. This is a lovely blog and that Mouse is so cute. Great you could aproach it so close. It must have been very hungry. The captures of the Great White Egret ar stunning. It looks like it is dancing over the water. The Curlew is a beautyful bird and I love their song ealy in the year it is a sighn for me that Spring is on its way. To bad you missed the Peregrine Falcon. But great you spotted a LO.
    Regards,
    Roos

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Roos. Please don't apologise - we all work to different timetables!

      It seems, from other peoples' comments, that this species of mouse is quite often very confiding.

      I too love the call of a Curlew. It's a sound I often hear when I'm up on the moors in Scotland.

      My very best wishes. Have a great weekend - - - Richard

      Delete
  14. A BLANKET APOLOGY

    I apologise to everyone who kindly left comments on my blog, to which I am replying rather late. My PC developed a problem on Saturday 29th October, and I was increasingly finding it difficult to keep it running and reply to comments. I eventually gave up on Wednesday and took the machine into the local PC Clinic (a great buch of guys). They couldn't find any problem, and I got it back again this morning (Friday). All seems to be just fine now! I (and they) suspect a Windows update that was problematic, and got sorted by a further update - or that I've got a dodgy keyboard or mouse that is causing problems. Currently it is just a case of keeping an eye on things.

    So, sorry I'm late! I've now got a whole raft of things to try and catch up with!

    Best wishes to you all - - - Richard

    ReplyDelete
  15. What delightful post Richard!
    That field mouse is so cute but unfortunately if it is not more careful, a predator will have it for lunch!!
    The landing of the Great egret is so elegant and it is great to see some of your LO's!!
    About your PC... I switched to Mac so this kind of problem doesn't happen anymore!
    Keep well Richard, share hugs with Lindsay and enjoy your WE :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Noushka. From what other people have said, it seems that this species of mouse is particularly confiding.

      The PC now seems to be OK - I'm keeping mny fingers crossed!

      Take good care and have a wonderful week - - - Richard

      Delete
  16. Hi Richard,
    Really beautiful pictures you show here.
    The stone owl is so cute and I love these owls :-))))
    The series of Egret is great too. Beautiful landing and sharp images thereof. The mouse is so cute and beautiful color.
    I enjoyed your photos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Helma. I hope that your PC is now behaving itself. From recent experience, I know what a pain it can be when they are troublesome.

      Best wishes - - - Richard

      Delete
    2. Hi Richard,
      PC is running again. There are many saved photos but also many photos away sadly. \ Also, I had to install everything again. Now I make it always to Automatic backups.

      Greetings, Helma

      Delete
    3. I'm pleased to hear that you didn't lose everything, Helma. I hope it never happens again.

      Best wishes - - - Richard

      Delete
  17. Howdy, Stranger! It seems like forever since I've been here and for that I am truly sorry. I shouldn't say it aloud but we may (finally) be returning to our "normal" lifestyle. We've managed to go birding almost every day for the past two weeks! That's almost as much as the previous nine months.

    Your post, as always, is inspiring! The Little Owls somehow seem to "belong" on rooftops of buildings which are literally crumbling from beneath them. Count me amongst the mouse fans. You did a spectacular job of obtaining nicely detailed photographs of a really cute wild animal! The Great White Egret series is quite special. Any photo of a Curlew is worth extra accolades, especially considering the dull light with which you had to work.

    Gini and I wish all the best to you and Lindsay, Richard! See you soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Wally! It's great to see you back, and to hear that things are 'returning to normal' - I have been rather worried about you both.

      Thank you so much for your kind words, which are very much appreciated.

      My birding is in the doldrums at the moment. Due to a combination of weather and other other distractions, I've only been out twice in the past two weeks. I'm hoping to get out again in the next hour or so, although it will only be a brief excursion.

      One day I hope that your 'See you soon' will become a reality - until then, my very best wishes to you and Gini.

      Delete

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.