Thursday, 10 May 2012

Belated write-up

Bit of a late post now considering the events I shall discuss mainly happened on Monday but I've been in Sheffield for the past few days and so now is the first opportunity I've had to spin my tale of woe concerning not seeing the Savi's warbler on Monday morning at Rutland. I'd actually managed to get myself to Rutland for the not so shabby time of 6am and arrived to find the reserve (along with most of the county) shrouded in fog.  This didnt seem to be putting the birds off their dawn chorus with loads of the commoner warbler species either seen or heard on the way to the Savi's spot where I was slightly proud to find myself the first person present, this rarely happens! To cut a long story short I was there until 8am when I went for a peek at Lagoon 4 as the fog had cleared and then again from 9-10ish and saw/heard precisely zero Savi's. Had a look at Lagoons 3, 4 again, 2 and then 1 after this but couldnt muster much besides a single Curlew Sandpiper on Lagoon 4.

Sedge Warbler giving it some welly

The only positive to be taken from the excursion occured pretty much as soon as I arrived at the Savi's spot at about quarter past 6. Part of the fence has blown down here and besides providing a handy stepladder for people attempting to see over the fence and see the Savi's it has left a section of the adjacent Lagoon 2's margin visible. And it was here that I noticed some strange tail patterns in the water, not unlike the patterns a feeding carp kicks up, heading to the left. A convenient chair was commandeered from the Savi's spot to see over the fence as I followed the trail of disturbed water to near a swans nest on Lag 2 where I got this series of terrible images - the fog and low light was making autofocusing through the vegetation impossible and the combination of excitment and fumbling with the manual focus clearly didnt help matters. It may be helpful to click on the first image and then scroll through them using the right arrow to see that the indistinct brown blur I've circled in the first image is actually moving.

If you havent guessed already, it was another Otter, adding to my first ever sighting of one a couple weeks ago! Somewhat less surprising to be honest though as they are regular at Rutland but seeing this one made me certain that the one I saw on the Soar a couple of weeks ago was definitely a dog otter, this individual seemed smaller and sleeker, indicating to my untutored eye at least, a female or adolescant animal.
It actually showed much better than the terrible images indicate, even sneaking up the swan platform to see if it could steal an egg, the swan just stayed still and the otter quickly retreated once it realised no eggs were exposed.

In other news, I finally tracked down the new Avengers movie when I discovered it was showing well in the Sheffield Odeon yesterday and thankfully we connected along with several other interested observers at 3.45pm. And it was good.
Later on at least 5 Tawny Owl were calling in the grounds of the Botanical gardens, despite the area receiving a severe "wetting". Im still yet to see one though, and this upsets me.


  1. Now that's just too jammy for words! I think that I'd have been just as happy with the Otter as I would have been with the Savi's, as I wouldn't have recognised a Savi's if I heard/saw one!

  2. Yes, it was a nice consolation prize and certainly the reward for getting there so early! And I won't lie, I had to do a spot of research myself into what a Savi's looks/sounds like before I went for it too!