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Monday 28 July 2008

Upper Heyden on 24th June 2008

My wife and I celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary this day with a drive in the country and a good lunch. As my wife is not really a birder, I thought that I had better keep the birding a bit low-key. We headed up through Derbyshire into West Yorkshire and ended up at Holmfirth. En route we stopped at Upper Heyden to admire the view. There were several Meadow Pipits in the area, and we were also captivated by the antics of a Weasel. Whilst trying to find out whether this was a Stoat or a Weasel, I came across this helpful piece of information - a Weasel is weasely recognised, whereas a Stoat is stoatally different".
Meadow Pipit


Rutland Water on 23rd June 2008

It was a very quiet evening for Osprey activity during my turn of duty this day, although both birds were present for the whole time. However, literally during the last minute of my watch, 08(97) (the male bird) left his perch and had a brief altercation with a Barn Owl, which rapidly flew off northwards. Literally seconds later, a second Barn Owl followed the first, dropping onto some prey as it did so. Unfortunately all this action was far too far away for my camera set-up. Amazingly, a few minutes later as I made my way back to the Lyndon Centre I came up on another Barn Owl. I don't suppose that I will ever again see three Barn Owls inside 10 minutes.

I did very little photographically that day, but I did find a juvenile Tree Sparrow looking rather cute (poor little thing had already been ringed) by the Egleton Centre, and the Sedge Warblers were about in front of Waderscrape Hide.

Tree Sparrow (juvenile)

Sedge Warbler

I don't suppose that many people think of Egyptian Geese as being at home in trees. This pair flew into the dead tree near Waderscrape Hide, and then started using it as a climbing frame. I guess that for most of the time they were 7 metres or more above the water.

Egyptian Geese

On the way home from my previous shift at Rutland Water, I had found some Red-Legged Partridge messing about on a country lane. I grabbed some quick shots out of the window of my car, but in the very poor light the results were unusable. This time, just in case they were there again, I had my camera set up before I reached the location - and they were there!!! However, it was about 9.30 in the evening and there was very little light, so the results are still far from good - but a lot better than the previous attempt.

Red-Legged Partridge

Rutland Water on 9th June 2008

I did not manage any Osprey pictures during my watch duty this day - in fact it was an unusually quiet day all round. I did, however, manage a few photos of some less celebrated birds.

Common Tern

When one sees Coots bumbling around, it is easy to forget how aggressive these birds can be. There was a real humdinger of a battle at one point, and the following photos show a little of this.

Coot Fight

Black-Headed Gull

Pheasant (juvenile)