Tuesday, 25 June 2013

WELFORD RESERVOIR 24-6-13: OSPREY

I like Welford reservoir and nearby reservoirs of Sulby and Naesby, often something of interest turns up from time to time during the migration, during the summer there is normally a lot of Swallows and House Martins to photograph etc, you might get lucky and catch the resident Kingfisher or the Kestrel, one of the fishermen from the area often tells me how the Kestrel has been hovering "over there", although according to my contact some lucky bird togger even had it right in the carpark and was shooting from his car, got me thinking who it would've been? I got a call Saturday, "Doug, are you near Naesby?", "Nope stuck in a truck near Telford" came the reply, "Just seen an Osprey as I was packing up", "Cheers mate". Now I was wishing I wasn't near Telford, Sunday was no better on my last day of my shift pattern, driving down the M40 and I was clocking the number of Red Kites, contemplating what would happen if my truck suddenly munched it's gearbox it was getting worse as on the way home I clocked several Hobbies hawking near some military base (there was a lot parachuting going on and was by the M40 if that helps) when my phone goes off, the Osprey was spotted trying to fish on Sulby reservoir....gutted.
So Monday being my first day off, I was off, I wasn't even put off by the grey skies, though those grey skies would irritate me today. Mostly because I wanted to do the House Martins (not many here this year) and the Swallows (again not many here this year), they weren't skimming the reservoir surface as normal, to windy, and the grey skies meant I just watched them. Had a Kestrel (male) hovering in the field next to reservoir and it was getting annoying, it was very close and oblivious to my presence and didn't flinch from hunting as I moved into position sadly the grey backdrop meant I had a full recycle bin. The skies looked like they may break and the Kestrel just kept coming back to where I was so it was worth hanging around....I got a break in the grey'ness and managed a half decent flight shot....could do better I suppose. However I'm shooting without the teleconverter, the teleconverter just doesn't seem to be right after it's malfunction, the images look soft. The Kestrel below was my best effort with blue skies....no teleconverter of course.
 What you might not be able to see in the image above is the trace of blood on it's bill (in the nostril region) so must have caught something tasty the image below was the best from the "grey sky" period.
Now one bird that is starting to pop up on Naesby/Welford/Sulby and sometimes Hollowell reservoir is a regular "summer" time Osprey, I first found 5R a Rutland bird, fishing off the bridge at Welford a few years back and the last three years I've seen one here and had scores of reports from the guys who fish the "syndicated" reservoir of Sulby and Naesby, one of the great things was how the fishermen enjoyed watching it, giving me loads of details of the fish it's caught, time, location etc.
Now I was sat at the carpark end of Welford reservoir and I heard all the terns on Sulby kicking off, always worth a glance, sometimes a Buzzard, Hobby, Kestrel or Sparrowhawk, not this time, trying to fish off the dam between Welford and Sulby reservoir was an Osprey....sadly too far away so here are some award winning record images...

Picture of the Year, here I come lol, on the last image in Capture One at 100% zoom a green id tag is on the Osprey, sadly I can't read the number/letter, just too far away, but am I right in thinking the green id tag means it's a Rutland bird?
It was only around for about 10 minutes before going towards Kelmarsh/Naesby direction. I left the area at 7.30pm and no further sign. If anyone fancies going up Sulby beware I think it's kind of private I might be wrong, but there is one field with a rather polite notice about people straying into the fields and how there are dogs loose (they had some sheep and horses injured by dog walkers) in the field as I walked along the footpath near the said field two huge Doberman's came running towards me, thank god for the fence and hedgerow....did also get this rather bold Hare, if it wasn't the Dobermans chasing me I thought this Hare was going to "charge" at me, I was hardly well hidden but came within 12 metres of me before turning away.
"I'M GOING TO GET THAT CAMERA NOW HE HASN'T GOT HIS GREYHOUND"

"GET HIM!!"

"OH, OH HE AIN'T MOVING"

"NAH I'LL STOP HARE I THINK"
But a few moments later along the same path came this Red Leg Partridge...again it came quite close.

So despite the grey skies not too bad, bird wise the Osprey and Kestrel was the best the despite the lousy images.
On the way home I found a new Little Owl site, I almost killed the bird, I was luckily driving slowly down this single track road were I was tipped off about a Barn Owl (didn't see it, but looks like another check is worthwhile) I came down this hill section and came round the corner and right slap in the middle of the road bathing in the water (burst water main) was a Little Owl, I slapped the brakes on and luckily at the last moment the Little Owl jumped up and perched on a transformer box attached to a telephone pole...if it hadn't moved I sadly would've hit it, I was only doing 30-35mph as I was scanning for a Barnie, my windows wound down I grabbed the camera, it flew off from it's perch and flew into a hollow knot of an ash tree....I shall go back I think, my first new site for a Little Owl in about two years....BUT IT WAS A LUCKY BIRD. I hope it doesn't like feeding or bating in the water on the road too much!

10 comments:

  1. A great selection. You had a good day.
    The hare was very obliging. Great to see it.

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    1. Very odd behaving hare as was the partridge, both knew I was there yet both kept coming towards me, I wonder if perhaps around the corner there might have been a predator fox/stoat etc and I was the "safer" option, never had a hare come that close and partirdges it doesn't take much to make them run

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  2. Great encounters Doug. The Hare is a special moment for sure.

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    1. Cheers Keith, the hare just made me laugh, it was surreal

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  3. I wouldn't like to recall how many hours I have spent Bream fishing at "gud ol Welly res" over the years. Hundreds if not thousands maybe, and in all that time I have always thought it as a bit of a wildlife wilderness, I guess I was wrong? I think Sulby is now a private Carp fishing syndicate and all the threats are to keep our eastern European cousins out! A big pat on the back for not killing the Little Owl, I am sure you will be rewarded with some spectacular images on your return visit, no pressure there then Doug;-.
    Nice post mate.

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    1. It was Bream 5R was catching when I found it up Welford a few years back, you're right Sulby is privately owned by a carp syndicate. I to be fair have never had problem with the lads up there, always chatty etc, but they've had problems with carp thieves, dog walkers etc and I think they're getting a tad p****d off, so Sulby is their sanctuary of peace.
      The LO is a tricky one but I'll be posting about that soon.

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  4. Really like the hare running down the path, Doug.

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    1. Cheers Christian, it's odd having it run towards you instead of trying to creep up to one:)

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  5. Marvellous hare photos!! Nice to get a local osprey, very envious!

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    1. Thanks Lou, hope you had a great weekend at Glasto'

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