Thursday, 11 September 2014

A few days ago I posted an image of a fine looking Drake Red Breasted Merganser. - a sawbill.

To the best of my knowledge our only other sawbill to be found in the UK ( famous last words ! )
is the larger Goosander.

A shy bird species that is more of a freshwater bird than the Red Breasted Merganser, in summer it tends to favour upland reservoirs and fast flowing, clear streams.  

In winter the Drakes white neck and flanks develop a salmon pink sheen.

These images of the male bird were taken on the River Nene at Titchmarsh LNR.

Rumour has it that Goosanders have been persecuted by commercial fisheries which brings me to a very interesting point that demonstrates that fish eating birds and commercial fisheries can co-exist with each other.

The project at nearby Rutland Water in Leicestershire to re-introduce the Osprey has been a phenomenal success, however the owner of two local trout fisheries contacted the project to raise his concerns about the number and value of fish that he was loosing on a daily basis.

And now the inspirational bit, jointly the project members and the fishery owner came up with a radical solution.

Getting good photographs of Osprey at Rutland Water is not easy due the the sheer expanse of the water whereas at the fishery the water body is only about thirty by twenty metres containing upwards of two thousand trout.

The solution ....... the fishery owner built a bird hide at his fishery accommodating four occupants that he rents out to birders and photographers at £80 per head per day giving unique opportunities to see and photograph Ospreys fishing at close quarters, the viewing windows are virtually at water level making for great action shots.

I say unique but not for long, the venture has been so successful that the owner of the fishery is extending the facility to his second fishery.

A great result for all concerned !



  1. Great images John. I like stories with endings like this. I wonder why gamekeepers don't do like wise and take people out birding on their land it could be a viable income etc

  2. Thanks Douglas, your idea would certainly help the Hen Harrier population.