A Day of Two Halves

The Garden and Ravensthorpe Reservoir



In amongst days of poor weather Sunday 12/7/20 turned out to be very nice.


As I pottered about the garden watering the Bonsai, Tomatoes the new Grape vine ( Chasselas Dore De Fontainbleau) and the other plants and trees I noticed that there was some activity from the local birds. So, I thought, get the camera, sit still and let nature come to me for a change.

Above. The Sparowhawk male stopping for a moment in our garden 12/7/29

Too often those of us interested in nature drive/travel huge distances to capture nature at its best. We forget that some of it is local to us even if you live in a flat or dense urban area. Just the other week I drove to North Yorkshire Bempton Cliffs.

It is looking like a bumper year for Apples if they all stay on the tree, a lot dropped in the strong winds last week. I am sure I will have enough to makes lots of Cooked Apple with Cloves and Cinnamon – breakfast with Yoghurt.


Noticeably there are more aircraft moving around now, not back to normal but enough to notice.  If you have Flight-radar app you can find out what the plane is and where it started its flight and where it will end! ( Interesting to the likes of me!!)


First to appear a new fledged Robin, followed shortly by a Dunnock quickly followed by a Wren passing through, unfortunately I could not get my camera up to get a shot.


Above. Young Robin in our garden 12/7/20


Next I can hear Goldfinches and locate them in a neighbours garden bushes. Whilst watching the Goldfinches I see a flash off to the left, thinking it was a pigeon. The bird settles on the neighbours swinging seat frame and I realise it is a Sparrowhawk (male). This time it does sit still for a while and I get several good shots of it before it moves on along the row of gardens. What a start to the day!


High in the sky of to the left is the Moon still visible at 10.00am. A variety of insects are visible including a Dragonfly which obligingly lands on the fence post for a rest a Red Admiral, a Peacock and some Whites .

The high winds are creating some amazing cloud formations, which by the way fascinates me.


The young Robin comes to one of the feeding stations and poses for me, before moving to the neighbours table. Unfortunately the Wren which is proving very difficult to photograph does not show again.


One of the smaller planes overflying our house  G-BRUG  and a fabulous cloud formation

After lunch I decide to go to Ravensthorpe Reservoir in the hope an Osprey might appear.

It is perfect walking weather, not too hot but very pleasant. As the walk starts high up on a tree a huge Dryads Saddle fungi, and hidden in the undergrowth an even larger one, Sadly too old to be able to eat, it would have a woody dry flavour.




It is clear that birds are quiet with nothing showing as I walk through the wooded side. I can hear a Chiffchaff and catch a brief view of it. Further along some Goldfinches are calling high up in the canopy. As you exit the wooded area you can see the reservoir before you and on this day fishermen in their boats.


Once on the dam I start to look for Wagtails and other birds. ( Always look up) soaring above the trees a lovely Buzzard giving me some shots. After it moves off return to searching for Wagtails etc.  A large Gull with yellow legs is perched on the water measure. Is it a Yellow legged Gull?  A closer look proves no! it is a lesser Black Backed Gull.  Further along the dam are the wagtails bobbing and searching for bits along the waters edge. Keep watching the sky for signs of an Osprey. Half way along the dam and a huge trout has washed up with it’s head bitten off but not eaten? Otter or large Pike perhaps, could be human though.


Lesser Black Backed Gull

Pied Wagtail

Reed Warbler

Great Crested Grebe and juvenile




Start the walk along the open side no small birds visible at all, however about half way I catch a flash in the reeds, stop and settle to wait. Sure enough it shows in the end and I am certain it is a Reed Warbler, tiny little bird and difficult to get a good shot off. I sat here on a fishing pontoon for a good while enjoying the view and weather. Still no sign of Osprey.  I know of a tree that has/had a Treecreeper nest so approach slowly stand still for 10 minutes but no sign, only a juvenile Robin.


Next, along where the trees allow a view of the water is a group of Coots and beyond them a Great Crested Grebe with a young one which is constantly calling for food or attention.


Along the road section (which is dangerous with the speed some people drive along it) there is only one good viewing spot, not much about. In the distance a Heron perched on a post and suddenly a Buzzard appears above the trees, get the shot.  Back in the carpark one quick shot of a Moorhen close enough to get a very good definition shot.

Sadly no Osprey today. Another day. Maybe I should just go to Rutland Water.


Head home to begin processing the days shots!