On Saturday I had a trip to Rutland Water to see the star attraction of the site’s breeding ospreys, and see what else was around. The reports from the week before had been quite tantalising, with red-necked phalarope, black tern, white-winged black tern and Temminck’s stint all seen in the days preceding my visit…
But none of this was to be! It was a bloody awful day weather-wise, with the visit to the northern end an almost continual washout, sheltering in the hides away from the deluge. All the rarities had upped sticks, but despite the downpour we still managed common tern, hobby, dunlin, little egret, little ringed plover (with chicks), Egyptian goose, cracking views of reed and sedge warbler, and a few other bits and bobs.
After a pub lunch the weather subsided for a while, and we managed to see the ospreys at the southern side of the site in moderate weather, with a pair of birds showing well at the nest site, with one incubating, while the other kept lunging in the water to wash its feet. What magnificent birds! And to continue this blog’s tradition of crap pictures of good species…
Elsewhere on this side of the reservoir was a nice red-legged partridge, an elusive singing lesser whitethroat that only showed very briefly despite being mere feet away from us, and a very unseasonal male goldeneye. A good day out despite the rain, and the no-show from any rarities!
On Sunday I had a walk round Agden, picking up easy yearticks in the shape of common sandpiper and spotted flycatcher, both of which are hard to miss there at this time of year, although sadly the pied flycatcher that have been at Agden Bog recently were nowhere to be seen after a good hour or so of searching.
Last night I had a trip to Wyming Brook to look for wood warblers, finally pinning down a singing male deep in cover and getting a good view. Later on I went to a undisclosed (sorry) site to see some young long-eared owls, which were squeaking away, with one sitting in plain view. Nearby I also got an amazing view of water vole, which stood looking at me with beady eyes a mere few feet away on the other side of a stream. Isn’t it always the case you get the best views when you leave your camera at home?!
The annual pilgrimage to Northumberland this weekend – expect lots of puffin shots!