Last week, when I was using up my last bit of holiday entitlement (EMAP has a holiday year that, bizarrely, ends in June), a Whiskered Tern showed up at Eyebrook Reservoir near Uppingham, late on Monday. So, next day, I rushed over there with high hopes, only to spend two hours vainly trying to persuade myself that any one of dozens of Common Terns were in fact the rare visior.
My colleague Mike Weedon, on the other hand, was far luckier the previous day, and grabbed these pictures, and these. He was also busy at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, up near Bridlington, getting some great seabird pics.
My day was far from a dead-loss though. First of all two Ospreys showed up at Eyebrook, with one of them fishing only a couple of hundred yards away. Then it was on to Rutland Water, to see the pair of Ospreys breeding in Manton Bay (bizarrely, a pair of Pied Wagtails have made their home in the bottom of their huge nest), and to check out the usual variety of bird and animal life, which included a very strange fox-red Grey Squirrel.
Last night, it was back to check on my local Barn Owls. I took a friend who has always wanted to see one, and she wasn't disappointed. They were highly visible as early as 8pm, no doubt making up for lost hunting time the previous rainy night. They're doing well, with prey seemingly easy and quick to find.