We decided for this week to go out later and look for owls and also have a different visit for a change and a change in subject. So Richard arrived at 15.00 hrs and we got on our way through to our Little Owls sites. On our outward journey we saw no birds at any of the sites. So after leaving our last site we headed for the village of Ketton which is not far from Rutland Water. Richard had a visit to this site a couple of weeks ago on a Volunteers outing with Sarah Proud on a Butterfly hunt and was very surprised at the area so we had a return to give it a look on our own. This reserve is a worked out Limestone quarry near to the Ketton Cement works and is open to anybody. We arrived at about 17.20 hrs and entered the site to be hit by a wall of wild flowers, a beautiful blue hue covered the area and then Richard spotted the first Marbled White Butterfly. We followed this particular individual for a considerable time trying for images but every time it landed and we approached, it was up and away. We soon saw others and in the end where ever we went in the reserve we were coming across these wonderful Butterflies. We saw several varieties of Butterflies but the only ones I got a reasonable image of were the Marbled White. We also saw Wild Orchids and numerous other wild flowers some of which I have no idea as to what they are so I am open for comments on these. We walked around the site until about 18.40 hrs and then decided to head towards Eyebrook Reservoir as a Short Eared Owl had been seen several times over the previous day or two.
We arrived at Eyebrook at 19.10 hrs approx and headed for the bridge at the inflow as on my previous visit a gent told me he had been watching an adult and two juvenile Kingfishers just below the bridge, so we stood at the bridge and devoured our tea. After about 10 minutes we moved up to an area where I usually park and see the Ospreys and the odd Red Kite. I was just having a quick cup of tea when through the corner of my eye I saw a bird fly through, my first thoughts were it was a Buzzard but then we saw in was the Short Eared Owl. We both dived from the car but the bird was hidden by a very high hedge, by the time it came back into view it was a long distance from us and all my images are rubbish. I had another visit on Saturday evening and saw the bird again but only for a few seconds as it flew over the hedge and turned round and went back whence it came. We eventually left at about 20.15 hrs and got on our way for some owling. Our first site to visit was Little Owl site No. 12, at this site the week before Richard had seen an adult with two juveniles but we saw nothing so on our way towards sites 15, 10 & 9. We saw no birds until Site 9 when I spotted to our joy a bird a little farther down the field, our first Little Owl in this area since March. We then headed towards Sites 6 & 7 but as we drove up a hill and around a corner a Little Owl sat on top of the hedge to our left, we drove past and turned round in a gateway but could not see any bird. So back on our way towards Sites 6 & 7, we saw no birds at either so we headed towards Site 5 where we saw a bird in the nest tree but as the light was going fast we got on our way towards Sites 1 & 2, no bird seen at 2 but we saw a bird in the nest tree at Site 1 at 21.45 hrs. This has been my best Little Owl day for a considerable time with seeing four. Plus a Shortie so our plan worked.
Marbled White Butterfly, Male.
What a stunning butterfly this is, as we walked around the site we were seeing them all the time.
Marbled White Butterfly, Female.
We appeared to see more males than females.
ORCHIDS AND WILD FLOWERS.
Common Spotted Orchid.
Even though the plant had no spots on its leaves, I think it is still a common spotted.
We found several areas like this, all the flowers you can see are Common Spotted.
Spotted by Richard, what a stunning flower but not very big.
Common Spotted Orchid.
These were Common Spotted Orchids as they had spots on the leaves.
Unknown Wild Flower.
Anybody any ideas???
A beautiful flower that was covering a large area and the aroma in the area was wonderful.
Unknown Wild Flower.
This was near to the entrance and the whole area was covered with these delightful flowers.
It has been so long since I have seen many Little Owls, today was a delight in finding some again.
Little Owl Site No. 9.
This bird in the next tree down the field to the nest tree and looks like our bird we called Mr T with his wide light breast stripe.
Little Owl Site No. 5.
This bird was well hidden after flying up into the tree from the ground.
YOUNG KESTRELS, OUR GARDEN.
10 th July.
All three young with the most advanced out on the front of the box.
Bird went back into the box and then had a wing stretching exercise in the doorway.
Second most advanced juvenile.
They on a regular basis were looking up so I was thinking an adult was returning with food, after about two hours of waiting I gave up and will have to try in a morning when they seem to feed them on a regular basis.
Here the juvenile had moved to the other end of the platform to the front of the box.
Thank you for your visit, I hope you have enjoyed the images as much as I did in the getting of them.