This is the second year I have booked the osprey hide for Mr A's birthday pressie, combined with two nights at the very lovely B&B - The Old Saddle Room in Langham - highly recommended.
Saturday turned out to be a very miserable day, rain, rain and a little bit more rain. We settled down for breakfast on arrival in Rutland and planned the day according to the weather. The good thing about days like this is it makes you think about all the things on your to do list, as photography was a wash out.
We have been busy planning a business venture, nothing on the scale of ICI but just a little something to fund our many trips around this stunning country. SO, a plan was hatched for the rest of the day... Prop Shopping and antique shops! Ooh er, not Mr A's favourite pastime. Stamford was our destination and we were not disappointed.
On our list were small glass bottles, for me to use for flowers in my new light box and a selection of old rusty garden bits and bobs for birds to settle on. I had a thoroughly fabulous afternoon and I must say even Mr A was a happy bunny, after a well earned coffee and cake - perhaps I can persuade him to go shopping more often ..... ha ha!
Our day was complete when we arrived at the B&B and settled in for an early night as Sunday was a very, very early start 02.45 - WHAT!!!!!!! - yes that early, as we had to be at the hide for 04.00.
As I mentioned earlier this is the second year we have booked this hide and it is pretty good, however this year we were ready for the early start and cold morning, a flask of coffee, biccys and extra layers meant we wouldn't freeze like last year.
The hide is on a trout farm and one of the ponds is left unnetted as the smart Osprey worked out years ago that this is a mega buffet and so easy to grab a bite - quite literally.
There is also a spotter (a man who looks out for the Osprey heading into the area) and he radio's into the hide to tell us what Osprey is about. At this moment the tension builds and all fingers are on the triggers, we wait, and wait as No. 28 (Osprey don't have names, which I think would be quite nice!) sits in the Oak tree and bobs his head. Last year I tried to catch a picture as he was diving to the pond but I didn't make that mistake this year and, instead, decided to stay calm and focus when he was about to heave himself and the fish back out of the water. At the point he falls from the tree there is an explosion of shutters - ha ha, this year I have 10fps so I must stand a chance. Once No.28 has disappeared out of shot everyone starts to shift about and check their piccys and, Yippee, I have a decent pic.
All in all we had three visits, the last being at 08.29 just as the spotter was going to radio us to finish the session. By this time I was a bit tired to say the least but happy at last to have managed to get a shot. Only one problem with the morning - no one had told No. 28 that it would be a better pic if he flew toward the hide and not away from it but, hey ho, there is always next year.
If you are thinking of a trip to the hide then look for www.rivergwashtroutfarm.co.uk/horn-mill-osprey-hide/
and I can highly recommend the B&B