Monday, 25 January 2016

Rutland Water

Distant Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrino
Monday 25 January

Another dry, calm day and even some warm sunshine - well, warmish!  Off fist thing to Rutland Water and quickly greeted by the corvid family re Crow, Rook and Jackdaw along with a pair of Magpies before departure.  Blackbirds about the car park and adjoining area and still scores of Wood Pigeons to be seen.  The feeding station provided a pair of Dunnocks along with both Great and Blue Tit plus a hen Pheasant (obviously one that managed to escape the Christmas pot!).

Dunnock Prunella modularis
The initial view over the water from the Visitors Centre hinted at what was to follow both in terms of wildfowl and water level.  Given in amount of rain which has been reported form the UK over the past month or so, I was more than surprised to see how the levels had dropped exposing much muddy banks for the waders and ducks to forage.  On the water itself plenty of Mallards, Gadwall and the occasional Wigeon accompanied by scores of Lapwing and a number of Black-headed Gulls.  We even had a trio of Shelduck along with some Coots.

An inquisitive hen Pheasant Phasianus colchicus
The walk down to Lagoons 2 and 3 provide a number of small birds including Chaffinches and a rather resplendent Great Spotted Woodpecker.  These side hides gave good views of close Gadwall, Teal, Wigeon and a few Pintail along with the first Moorhen of the day.  I even managed the first sighting of quite a number of Goldeneye, both males and females.

Distant record shot of Pintail Anus acuta

Lagoon 4 duly produced a small number of Cormorants along with a plentiful supply of Wigeon and a few Mute Swans.  Sitting on the perch of the Osprey nest I had a long look at the Peregrine Falcon and I certainly got he impression that it had been in residence for thirty minutes or more.Moving on to Lagoon 3 at the "Shoveler Hide" I then had better views of the Goldeneyes along with Great Crested Grebes,Heron, Little Grebe and a pair of Egyptian Geese.

Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major

Making my way back towards Lagoon 4 to see if I could locate the trio of female Smews (I could not) I recorded Robin and Pied Wagtail.  Then it was on to the opposite end of the reserve to check out the relatively new lagoons of 5 to 8 inclusive.  From outside the "360 " hide I could look over most of the water and managed to find a pair of Magpies, A resting Buzzard and a small number of Common Starlings along with a flock of Canada Geese were added to the list.

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Finally, back to the car park and on to the North Arm to see if I could locate the resident grebes, all five species having been seen on the same water in the last few days.  On arrival I was joined by three other birders and we carefully scanned the now choppy and exposed waters.  There were the usual ducks and Cormorants at the deep end of the Burley Fishponds and a couple of Greylag Geese on the far shore but it was the grebes that we sought.  My neighbour was first to find the Black-necked Grebes and we managed to count a handful when en I saw a strange looking Great Crested Grebe.  Closer inspection with the scope revealed a Great Norther Diver.  None of us could find either the Red-necked or Slavonian Grebe so if today turns out to be my last birding trip of the week then what a bird to finish with!

Birds seen:
Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Egyptian Goose, Shelduck, Gadwall, Wigeon, Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Pintail, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Goldeneye, Pheasant, Great Northern Diver, Little Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Heron, Buzzard, Peregrine Falcon, Moorhen, Coot,  Lapwing, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Rock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Dunnock, Pied Wagtail, Robin, Blackbird, Magpie, Jackdaw, Crow, Rook, Starling, Chaffinch, Goldfinch.

The distant Peregrine Falco peregrino saying "Goodbye" to me as I say depart Rutland Water

Check out the accompanying website at for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information.

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