Pitsford Reservoir with a storm moving across the distance.

17th August 2020

For days now we have had mixed stormy weather, some very severe. Wellingborough became a river in parts of the town centre. I decided today that I would visit Hanging Houghton in search of Raptors primarily.

Upon arrival park the car near the old Railway track and head off towards Cottersbrooke. Out in the distance in the direction of Market Harborough was a storm, I could here faint rumbling of thunder. Better keep my eye! on it in case it moves this way, also keep scanning the distant sky for signs of other storms. Sure enough after about half an hour a large one is forming over Northampton.  When the sun comes out it is very warm and I can feel it affect on my skin, but there is enough breeze to give some relief.

The walk along the track towards Cottersbooke is pleasant and I only see one other walker. Sadly though very few birds and not one raptor. Then suddenly 2 small birds fly towards me, land near a puddle and take a drink, Linnets a male and female.


Walk on continuing to watch the storms and photograph them (of course).

As an aside I have recently upgraded my phone to a Samsung Galaxy S10, it takes cracking photos I must say, I am so impressed with it. Also the images keep their resolution when imported into Photoshop.  The phone camera tends to over saturate but that is easily adjusted in Photoshop or Lightroom. See Images above and below.

At last! a Red Kite is soaring high across the fields but does not move towards me and disappears over the trees.

Noise above me alerts me to an A400 RAF transport plane flying over.

Turn around and walk back towards the car. Now the storm over Northampton is slowly moving north so I pick up the pace. As I get closer to the Railway Track another (or the same) Red Kite appears over the trees but yet again does not move towards me. Not one Buzzard,  Kestrel or something a little more exotic.

Storm forming over Northampton with a classic anvil shape,

you can see how the updraft is forming the clouds.

Same storm taken with the Samsung Galaxy S10 – amazing quality.

Different storm this one forming over Market Harborough area.

 I have some time so decide to move to Pitsford Reservoir, I might be lucky and an Osprey visit.

No sign of an Osprey but lots of Great Crested Grebes with young hunting the waters near the causeway.  Close on the sloped Damn is a Lapwing and Pied wagtails. Way out on the other side I can see Little Egrets. Then suddenly one rises up in front of me, no time to get camera up and photograph it.

One of the Great Crested Grebes surfaces with a Perch in its beak, it orientates the fish and swallows it down, nature!. Two Herons fly in formation low over the water moving to a new hunting location.  Still no sign of a Osprey though. Then an heron flies past much closer allowing some OK shots. Another Grebe surfaces with yet another Perch, it swims around for a while with its catch in it beak, drops the fish but quickly re catches it, shuffles the fish around and gone.


I suddenly realise how much time I had spent here watching the weather and birds. Oh! and of course the cars hurtling across the causeway way in excess of the 40 mph speed limit. It is only a matter of time before someone gets killed here. That aside a lovely afternoon.


2 Images above Great Crested Grebes with Perch.