We stayed overnight and spent monday morning walking the shores of Rutland Water. It's a fantastic place and we were really pleased to see a Red Kite drift over us early on, which was joined at one point by one of the local Buzzards. But best of all was an Osprey which although fairly distant, twice hovered above the shoreline, presumably in hunting mode, but alas didn't treat us to a fishing lesson. On the way home we stopped off at the south shore nature reserve where we watched from the hide as two juvenile Ospreys were eventually joined at the nest site by an adult, possibly the one seen earlier but we can't be sure. Either way, it was good to meet at least three Rutland Ospreys and who knows, maybe we'll meet again soon at New Hythe as they head south for the winter. Well you never know!
And talking of New Hythe that's where I spent a pleasant couple of hours this afternoon. I feel as if i've neglected the place recently, which I have I suppose, but hopefully visiting times will be back to normal for the next few weeks at least. I'd had a text earlier from Terry to say that he'd finally located a Sedge Warbler at NH, a bird that's eluded us this year so far. So I caught up with him at the southern end of the sunken marsh where we watched and waited for it to reappear and get it's name on my NH year list, which of course it didn't do. I think I may have to have an early morning foray to get one of these passing through the patch, perish the thought. Time's running out though, in one week it'll be September, where does the time go?
The list of birds seen at the sunken marsh is short, very short. A Sparrowhawk was one, and another was an unidentified raptor, flying high and heading south, interesting but anonymous alas. The best of the rest being the odd Swallow and Stock Dove. We decided to cut our losses and move round to the small wood by the river and on the way I finally got a shot of a NH Migrant Hawker. I'd seen some buzzing around on recent visits but I do like to get a picture if possible of the different dragons and damsels seen here. I guess this is the last species to grace the air here this summer, or at least the last to appear. I think the Lesser Emperor is maybe the only one who 'got away' from a photographic view.
If it hadn't been for Terry I may well have trodden on the baby Rabbit above. It was sitting motionless on the edge of the path and really didn't want to move away, or maybe it couldn't. We left it undisturbed and hoped a Fox didn't find it.
We had to wade through five or six foot high nettles to get to the small wood by the river, it had better be worth it. We knew the tide was practically out so we were hoping for some goodies to boost the visit, which we got in the shape of three Common Sandpipers, two or three Buzzards, possibly more over the Downs, as well as one or two distant Hobbys and another Sparrowhawk which flew across the river. A Little Egret was fishing further downstream and a few more Swallows followed the river south, but hopes of a Bearded Tit in the reedbed opposite were unfounded. All the usual gulls were seen including GBB, LBB and Black headed and further entertainment came in the shape of a Cormorant which caught a large Flounder but just couldn't swallow it. He decided to head for the riverbank for another attempt but was promptly robbed by another Cormorant. A brief fight ensued, during which the Flounder escaped into the shallow water, where presumably it floundered about a bit before heading for the relative safety of the deep. Always nice to see the underdog win.
Back home I added Coal Tit, Goldcrest, Chiffchaff and a troupe of six Long-tailed Tits in the garden which helped boost the miserable August New Hythe list to a measly 53 species. This equals the featherweight July total of 53, surely I can find another couple before the end of the month.