Thursday, 26 June 2014

Ospreys on Parade at Rutland Water

5th June 2014

My first visit to Rutland Water was some 25 years ago. Mark and I got up at the unearthly hour of 4.00am to get up to Rutland to twitch the very rare......Little Egret!! Although I have been back a couple of times, this is the first time since the Ospreys started breeding.

We arrived at the visitor centre and our first taste of the reserve was these Kestrel chicks peering out of their nest box.


Next came the long walk to the Waderscrape Hide and entered the hide at 10.30am hoping there were some seats left. There were indeed some seats, but we were then told that the Ospreys had flown off at 9.00am and hadn't been seen since. The story of  my life. Anyway, we had all day so settled down to wait for their return which shouldn't be long. The only problem with this logic is that the pair were not breeding and therefore there was nothing to draw them back to the nest in any sort of a hurry.

Luckily there were some birds around to keep us occupied. This male Reed Bunting was feeding young just in front of the hide which allowed several photo opportunities.


Also seemingly happy on the pool was this male Tufted Duck which literally changed colour with just a couple of degrees twist of the head, changing from black to green and back to purple.


An enjoyable sight was this pair of Sand Martins which came and settled on the barbed wire just outside the hide. This was the first time that I have seen Sand Martins settled in front of the camera and allowed a couple of shots.




However, apart from the stars of the day (hopefully), was this Water Vole which kept chugging across the channels cut in the reeds. Unfortunately it never stopped long enough for some feeding photos , but still the first I have seen with a camera to hand for a couple of years.


And then the great moment arrived, just five hours later. The pair of Ospreys arrived back at the nest but unfortunately flew straight to the nest rather than completing a couple of laps of the bay as I had hoped. Well, mustn't complain. At least we saw these magnificent birds.














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