Monday 1 October
Following an enjoyable week-end away visiting my sons, etc (during which I also delighted to see so many Sky Larks), I returned to Stamford last night so able to spend the morning at nearby Rutland Water. Whilst it might have looked beautiful and sunny, no sooner had I arrived on site than I realised how cold it was, probably no more than about 6C!!!! Welcomed by Carrion Crows, Wood Pigeons, a single Magpie and a quartet of Jackdaws as I made my way to the Burley Fishponds. Lots of water birds about and I soon had a list of ducks including Mallard, Teal, Shoveler, Tufted Duck, Gadwall and Wigeon. No shortage of either Cormorants or Great Crested Grebes and also a couple of Little Grebe. Naturally, there was also a supply of Coot and Moorhen with the former more in evidence. Larger birds included Mute Swan, Greylag and Canada Geese plus a handful of Egyptian Geese. On the far bank, as well as both Black-headed and Great Black-backed Gulls I also noted a little group of five Little Ringed Plovers.
|Female & male Gadwall Anas strepera followed by male Mallard Anas platyrhynchos|
|Blue Tit Parus caeruleus|
Lagoon 2 produced Pheasant, Lapwing, Great White Egret and Little Egret from the Grebe Hide then a rather "empty" Lagoon 4. Here the standout sighting was about a dozen or more Egyptian Geese. So on to the Shoveler Hide overlooking Lagoon 3 and this, too, seemed very quiet at first sight . A quartet of Lapwing and a sole Ruff whilst, in the distance, I Could see a tight flock, almost a raft, in excess of 1000 Tufted Duck.
|Part of the 1000 plus Tufted Ducks Aythya fuligula|
|Grey Heron Ardea cinerea|
|Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus|
The final stop at this end of the reserve was to look in at the Crake Hide where I counted 13 Little Egrets.
|Little Egret Egretta garzetta|
Determined to reach 40 species for the morning I took myself to the far end of the feeding station to watch the site from the Woodpecker Hide and so have the sun behind me. No sooner seated than a cock Pheasant wandered in to feed on the dropped seed and the House Sparrows were once again feasting, the feeders having been topped up during my absence. First a Robin put in an appearance and then both a female Greenfinch and a male Chaffinch on a single feeder at the same time. From then numerous Blue and Great Tits along with House Sparrows, Chaffinches and a single Dunnock till, eventually, a Goldfinch put in an appearance so that I could make my departure.
|Female (above) and male Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs|
Undertaking the circular route round Rutland Water I noted both a pair of Red Kites and a Jay at Lyndon before making my way back to Stamford with a final tally of 43 species for the morning.
|Red Kite Milvus milvus over Rutland Water|
Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Egyptian Goose, Gadwall, Wigeon, Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Tufted Duck, Pheasant, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Great White Egret, Heron, Red Kite, Moorhen, Coot, Little Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Ruff, Snipe, Green Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Jay, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch.
|Corrmorants Phalacrocorax carbo "hanging out to dry"|
Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information