If you’re likely to be thrown out of the trout farm at any minute by another male who has declared this site to be his territory, I suppose it makes sense to grab a fish in each foot while you have the chance, but it does look rather like showing off. This is Blue 06, a male osprey who was born at Rutland back in 2009, pulling out of the single dive he was allowed before Blue 28 arrived and asserted his ownership of the farm. I’ve chosen this photo because I think it conveys some of the drama of the moment, and shows the power of those huge wings, but I’ve put a sequence of images here, if you’d like to see more.
I had a thoroughly enjoyable time at Horn Mill this evening. Quite by chance I’d booked this second visit on one of Hillyblip’s days there, so we were able to have a natter and catch up with each other’s news during the quiet periods – and to be honest, most of the four hour session consisted of down time, with no activity at all on the water other than a few jumping trout. But we did have this great run by Blue 06 quite early in the session while the light was still good; followed quite shortly by the arrival of 28, who made three dives before finally coming up with a fish. Later a second 9-year old Rutland male, Blue 01, made a rapid dive that I didn’t manage to capture at all well; and then right at the end of the session, when we’d pretty much packed up to leave, 28 came back again and made a single successful dive. By this time the light was so bad that I put down my big camera and zoom, and used the 7DII with the macro lens open at f/2.8 – not at all my first choice of gear for photographing birds, but having glanced through those shots it does look as though at least some of them will be keepers.
As you’d imagine, after four hours in a hide topped and tailed by a two hour drive in each direction, I’m now pretty tired; but I’m happy to have had the chance to see these magnificent birds in action again, and pleased with some of the images I managed to capture. One day I hope to get a shot of an osprey in its feet-forward final approach to the water – but for now, these shots will do quite nicely.