Sunday, 19 August 2012

Rutland revisited, an annual report.

As usual the Birdfair was a great success. For me, the fact that it was a free weekend, in that I wasn't working on a stand was great as it meant that I could spend time with Jack and Josh as well as catching up with old friends. There is really something special about the birding community. Pam and I chatted to a young man that we hadn't seen for nearly thirty years. He now lives on the Falklands and has his own family with a 13 year old daughter and a son at University in Canterbury. The years since we last me on Scilly rolled away and the friendship as firm as ever. Of course many acquaintances are renewed on a much more regular frequency. Some never disappoint, still arriving in white shoes and George Michael fancy dress, what a mixed bunch we are!

 The boys and I had a good walk this morning in our annual quest for some good views of the famed Rutland Ospreys. Of course these weren't the only birds on view.
 Common Terns gave us some excellent opportunities to see them flying, squabbling and sometimes quietly perched.

 In front of the hide a Great Crested Grebe was sitting on a nest, At one point it was obviously concerned with something flying over head.

 We discovered that she and her mate were in fact renewing the nest and that at the moment there were no eggs laid.
 No too far away, at least as far as the scope was concerned, two Osprey were sat out on one of the T shaped perches provided. It was just too far away for a really decent photograph and of course aesthetically  the telephone wires behind did nothing for the  picture.

 The male Great Crested Grebe returned while we were there and added a new meaning the the well known phrase, "would you like some weed dear".

 I guess as one of the major aims of the Birdfair is the promotion of conservation it was appropriate that we spent a lot of time watching the species that first led to the birth of the RSPB.

 For a bird so elegant on the water they are strangely ungainly when they are on dry land or standing on the nest platform. Like divers, grebes have their legs set far back on their bodies and this makes them very efficient swimmers but clumsy landlubbers.

As well as the grebes the water was full of other water birds, with Coots, Tufted Duck and Pochard in large numbers. A few Teal were mixed in and Shoveler and Mallard were feeding near by. Other birds we noted while we in the hides were a Whimbrel that flew round repeating it seven note whistle at regular intervals and a Green Sandpiper. With good view of several species of Dragonflies and Damselflies it was an enjoyable couple of hours, before we headed to the Bird Fair for some serious Pond Dipping.

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