The really good thing about having Rutland Water just fifteen minutes away as your local patch is that when you see the forecast for cloud and possibly rain later in the day you can drive over first thing in the morning and enjoy the warm sunshine whilst it lasts. This happened to me this morning as I arrive just after 7.30 and was back home by 12.45 in time for lunch - and a chance of actually completing the blog on the same day!
|Off to the water for these Canada Geese Branta canadensis
|The artificial Sand Martin Riperia riperia nesting site on Lagoon 5 (Spot the bird?)
|Just the one surviving gosling for this pair of Egyptian Geese Alopochen aegyptiacus
Retracing my steps to the Visitors Centre I duly checked in and paid my entrance fee, £4.50 for old fogeys like me and really good value for money, before checking again on the Feeding Station where I was graced with the arrival of a Great Spotted Woodpecker at the far end.
Now upwards and onwards to Lagoon 4 and my favourite Sandpiper Hide. No less than 20 Little Egrets were counted which makes me wonder why I bother to leave Spain! A single Oystercatcher was on the beach and it looked very much as if a pair of Egyptian Geese were using the "dummy" Osprey nest to raise their own family. But before approaching the hide I mad a very hurried look at the new, replacement, Osprey Hide which was just about completed in time for its official opening by its sponsor, CJW Wildfoods, at the coming British Bird Fair next month. For my trouble I managed to record the first of two Common Sandpipers for the morning.
|Another pair seem to have taken over the Osprey's nest!
|At least twenty Little Egrets Egretta garzetta on Lagoon 4 with even more Greylag Geese Anser anser
|Recently-fledged Reed Warbler Acrecephalus scirpaceus
|All alone at his nest site for this Osprey Pandion haliaetus
Once back to the car I travelled home by an anti-clockwise circuit of the Water noting the single Osprey at his nest site in Manton Bay and a number of Tree Sparrows feeding at the Feeding Station in front of the Lyndon Visitors Centre. My final bird, using the scope provided at the Centre, was my only Heron of the day, resting on the far bank. A most enjoyable time, on my own, and a final tally of 53 species.
|Tree Sparrow Passer montanus on the Lyndon Centre feeder
Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Egyptian Goose, Shelduck, Gadwall, Mallard, Teal, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Pheasant, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Heron, Osprey, Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Redshank, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Tern, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Sand Martin, Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Magpie, Jackdaw, Crow, Starling, House Sparrow, Tree Sparrow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Linnet, Reed Bunting.
|One of scores of Common Tern Sterna hirundo
|Juvenile (only one) Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus
|Canada Geese Branta canadensis
|Egyptian Geese Alopochen aegyptiacus
Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information.