Hi and welcome to my Blog, my name is Paul Riddle and I live in south Leicestershire, UK. Back in August 2007 my quest began to locate as many local Little Owl territories as possible. The driving force was a reported decline in the uk numbers so I thought I would do my bit and conduct a study in my area. After 7 years and countless hours out in the field I have detected over 200 different sites. With a thirst for a greater understanding of the owls a more comprehensive monitoring and nest box programme then commenced. This also now includes monitoring the local and very sparse population of Barn Owls, please pop back occasionally and catch up with the life and times of my owls and any other wildlife that I come across. I hope you enjoy your visit!!!

Friday, 8 April 2016

Right place, right time!

Yesterday evening I was out with Daz doing a spot of "general birding" in the south of the county. We hadn't seen much of note apart from a single fly past Red Kite. We weren't surprised that none of our main target, Little Owls hadn't been seen as the weather was very intermittent,  one minute sunny the next it was pouring down.

As we ventured along the lanes of South Leicestershire we neared a body of water (no not Rutland) where we parked up to see what was about. A couple of Little Egrets at distance, a few Tufted Ducks out in the middle, plenty of Sand Martins skimming the waters surface feeding on flys, a Grey Heron in the reeds and several circling Buzzards up high.

Then out of the blue a flying Osprey came into view!!! It was flying straight across the lake towards us. Through my binoculars a fish could clearly be seen in its talons. At the time neither of us had our cameras out and before we knew it the bird had passed overhead without a single image being taken.

As the bird was flying away from us it seemed to be keeping parallel to the lane where we were parked, we were soon in the car and in pursuit.  As I drove Daz kept an eye on the bird and within a minute we'd caught it up and then overtaken it. Once we had managed and good lead we pulled up and got the cameras out, we then waited and as if to order the Osprey deviated slightly away from the fields and flew straight at and over us!!!



All of this action, from stopping the car to the Osprey flying overhead was over in a matter of seconds, luckily I have pre-set a custom function on my camera for just such indecencies, I turned the dial to this setting and prayed I'd be lucky! I did manage a sequence of 14 images with these two above images probably being the best? 

A superb encounter and a great bird to see, especially as it had a fish in it's talons. Obvious we have no idea as to where the bird was going, I suppose it could have been a bird from the Rutland breeding programme that was having a wander about (although that's miles away!) or maybe a Scottish bird still on it's way north or even better still maybe a bird that has set up a new territory in Leicestershire?

Thanks for stopping by, catch up again soon..............

17 comments:

  1. Paul, there is a bird holding territory in Northamptonshire over the last couple of years, depending on where you were it could be that bird. Great images though

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    1. I do know that male Ospreys do go wandering far afield so yes it could deffo be a bird from the Northants area? Cheers Doug.

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  2. Brilliant mate, lets hope its local....

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  3. Blue ring...could be a Rutland bird.

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    Replies
    1. Ah up Hoodie, where you bin hiding?? Blue ring?????

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  4. Gorgeous photos of Osprey.. . Have a happy weekend!

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  5. Hi Paul, certainly a case of right place right time, I have never got that close to an Osprey, again you lucky man. With the blue ring a fair chance its a Rutland bird, I think it was only 2004 they used a green ring. Regards John

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    Replies
    1. Cheers buddy, but as of my question to Andy above, blue ring?

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  6. Hi Paul. Great images after your car chase. Like Andy and John, I'm also seeing a blue ring on the left leg in your first image. However, Rutland birds would be blue ring on the right leg, so I suspect that it's not blue, but a metalic ring. Still could be a Rutland bird, however - they often stray far to fish. RW's John Wright could tell you straight away as he knows every bird by sight - no, I'm not kidding!

    Best wishes - - Richard

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  7. I still don't see a blue ring Richard, only a chrome coloured one? Many thanks for your comments buddy!

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  8. Rutland birds also have a metal ring on the left leg, it's a male from what I can see. Did you get any shots of the other leg visible?

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    1. Hi Spider, I have had a look back through the images from that day, unfortunately no images show the right leg enough to be able to detect a blue ring, sorry!

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