Saturday, 10 April 2010

Venus Pool - OSPREY take 2

With some great birds about there seemed little reason to stray outside Shropshire and nursing an injured toe, walking far was not a option either! Fortunately, I had a chauffer for the day assuming I wasn't left stranded high and dry for refusing to part with my (very functional / therapeutic actually) socks and sandals!!!

First port of call was Venus Pool and an excellent chance of Osprey again? The water level is now thankfully being lowered - mud is beginning to appear and a wader (Black-tailed Godwit) got the day underway, Yellow Wagtail too. An 8.00 entry by the Osprey stirred up the Gull flock and they gave it merciless stick, after a minute or so it was gone!

A hungry Osprey has to fish though! A question of whether it would search elsewhere or return! By 9.30 We had just about given up and left the hide with Black Redstart now on the agenda when I spotted something large and very distinctive gliding in over the hide - the Osprey!!!!

The light was much better that the previous day so without wishing to overdo the flight shots - here's the best three as it manouevred into position.....

To plunge and catch a fish! Yet again, a small 'Rutilus' but who cares, more frequent fishing is the likely outcome! Slightly into the light, a small image does not do justice to this capture of the Osprey leaving the water!

It was then off to find a dead tree somewhere (haven't worked out exactly where yet!)

The Titterstone Clee Black redstart proved to be anything but 'easy'. It had been seen on the main radar station perimeter fence but not for us..... After a check of all the radar balls, we returned to the original search area and eventually, it flew briefly onto the fence.... then disappeared again....

Plenty of Wheatear about and we did hear a Ring Ouzel in the quarry down below but the Ouzels were left in peace and not on the itineray today!

Pole Cottage was almost birdless and my quest to see a Shropshire Red Kite in 2010 also continues, can you believe that! We dropped down to the wooded stream at Bridges...

A male Pied Flycatcher was singing near the entrance and we found at least another one at the upstream bridge. An elusive male Common Redstart and pair of Dippers soon followed....

Yvonne spotted a really unusual pale white raptor over the nearby hill. The upperwing was brown but check out the 'ghostly' white underwing and body of this pale morph Common Buzzard!

A Yellow Wagtail to finish at VP, completed a pretty fine day but as you'll all know before reading this - Sunday was destined to be much better - including a patch tick at Venus Pool (and they don't come that often!!)