short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Birdfair 2011- Ospreys & more!

 My first Birdfair and also my first time at Rutland Water all started at 6am when we left off with Steve driving along with Yorkie & myself .The plan was to get there early enough for a couple of hours birding at the reserve before checking into the Birdfair its self. While travelling along the A1 ,at Newton Water we had a cracking Red Kite over head .This added to the already long ongoing birding conversation and how we soon too would have our very own breeding Red Kites in Norfolk, something that may happen sooner then later with the success of there breeding grounds spreading ever eastwards.
 We set up in a pull in at the Manton area of the huge lake.Steve had been here many times before and said we should get good views of the Osprey from here, and he was right! We had a adult Osprey flying over the water, then diving into the water to take a fish and then return it to the nest of which 2x Juveniles were waiting.This was something special to see- breeding Ospreys no more then 200 meters away from me & so relaxed and at easel with there surroundings.This was my first time seeing a breeding pair/family.My only other sights were of 2 passing through in Norfolk.
The pictures below were digi scoped but were taken as a cloud decided to set over us.Still they give a good feel for what we experienced.

Returning parent to the nest

Osprey and fish

 We spent a while here taking in the Ospreys as they hunted, bathed in the water and saw to there young ,then decided to move on to an area where we could park up and take an hours walk around the some of the lake. We picked up a singing Chiffchaff , followed quickly by another,a juvenile.Then a pair of Goldcrests and a Robin. We got down to a field overlooking the lake and picked up a Common Buzzard, Sparrowhawk & a soaring Red Kite high up ,in the now gorgeous blue sky. Looking onto the water we had wading Greenshank, Little Egret and some Lapwings. Then Yorkie picked up a Green Sandpiper and a Common Sandpiper along the bank edge. We started to walk up the field back towards the car and i picked up some Wagtails in around the heard of cows.We soon realised they were Grey Wagtails- a flock of 10 in total.The sun shining on there bright olive-yellow rump and yellow under parts was a nice view.Then as me & Yorkie were looking at a perched  Green Woodpecker, Steve then says `any one fancy a Wheatear?`  and then both turning to see him pointing to a fence post no more then 10 feet away was a Wheatear! This bird didn't seem to be phased by our presance at all and as we passed by i got a cracking picture. We had had a great couple of hours birding here but the Birdfair was calling.

Grey Wagtails


 As we entered the Birdfair i brought a T-shirt (ur no doubt see me modeling it soon down at Thorpe !).Will we looked in a couple of marquees and after much bird chat and looking through brochure's along with a few competition entries, we got settled in the events tent ( bumping into Jim & Debs)  to listen to `The ghosts of gone birds` a discussion on extinct birds and how many more are heading that way too.With help from artists, musicians,poets and top names in the birding world he is making a film called the `Bird Effect`, keep a look out for it. After a video clip of one of my favourite actors, Phil Daniels (he `feeds the pigeons and sometimes feeds the sparrows too`) we decided to continue on checking out the many stalls.
 Over lunch ,back at the car we had a pass over Hobby and a Sparrowhawk.
 Back at the marquees we got chatting to a number of different Nature  & Conservationers /Tv Presenters /writers too as we went about our way , like Mike Dilger (very nice chap), David Lindo (a real top bloke with a massive love for everything Urban ) and a very brief encounter with Bill  Oddie!

Steve,Yorkie,Mike Dilger & myself
 The buzz from not only getting to chat to these tv presenters that you watch and listen to or magazine editors of which you enjoy reading, its that every single person that you are surrounded by are like minded as you , sharing the same love that you do for our feathered friends.
As we made our way through the last marquee i bumped into a few more birders from norfolk- Justin,Andrew and Steve and then we were greeted by the ever characteristic Johnny Kingdom.A real nature lover!
 We had a fantastic day out here at this wonderfull reserve and to any one who hasnt been before i really recommend it!
  Happy Birding,


  1. Shakey,
    Red Kites already breed in Norfolk. See account in 2009 Bird Report.

  2. Ok didn't know that - thanks

  3. Thanks for that Mr.anonymous.
    Top report Ricky, it was a good birdfair this year.