Back in the UK for ten days - in pouring rain! But come this morning it was cool, cloudy, dry and very windy. But having gained an extra hour in the morning I managed to slip down to my local patch at Rutland Water for 90 minutes before having to pay a late morning visit to banks, etc in nearby Peterborough. I knew there was an advantage to living so close to this wonderful birding site.
|Great White Egret Egretta alba|
So well dressed up to keep out the howling wind I made my way to North Arm and was suddenly confronted by what looked like a completely deserted Burley Fishponds; did not see a single bird form the car and beginning to think that it was a good job that I had seen both Rook and Crow as I left the main road! However, there were birds a plenty sheltering just the other side of the stone fishing limit on the North Arm. My first sighting was a single Great White Egret and using the scope noticed that there were a further five just to the left sheltering under the stone work whilst on the spit itself there must have been a sheltering flock in excess of 100 Lapwing.
|Great White Egret Egretta alba with Little Egret Egretta garzetta and many Lapwing Vanellus vanellus|
|Mute Swan Cygnus olor with Teal Anas crecca|
Out on the main water but still close to hand must have been hundreds of Tufted Duck with a few Great Crested Grebe sharing their company. Nearer to the shore a couple of Mute Swans and accompanying Wigeon, Shoveler and Teal. But wait, not just Wigeon but also a score or more of Pintail. More use of the scope found the score or more of Canada Geese and then a smaller number of Greylag. Strange to see the pair of Egyptian Geese keeping the Mute Swan company on the shallow water. Very few gulls about other the Black-headed and a couple of Great Black-backed Gulls.
|Hundreds of Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula|
|Pintail Anas acuta (top centre) with Teal Anas crecca|
Moving over to the feeding area I began to think that this, too, would be a disappointment but within five minutes the little fells arrived in their droves. Mainly Blue but some Great Tits along with many Goldfinch, a few Chaffinch and even a single Greenfinch. However, pride of place went to the Brambling that stayed just a few seconds short of me getting the camera on the bird. A couple of Dunnocks foraged about the ground and a Blackbird or two chased across the back completely oblivious to the Grey Squirrel working away at one of the suspended nut feeders. A noise to my left revealed a visiting hen Pheasant and, of course, a handful or more of House Sparrows arrived to join in the feeding frenzy. Two Jackdaws paid a visit but many more were seen as I left the shelter where I also picked up both Collared Dove and Starling.
|Dunnock Prunella modularis|
|Egyptian Geese Alopochen aegyptiacus|
Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Egyptian Goose, Gadwall, Wigeon, Mallard, Shoveler, Pintail, Teal, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Pheasant, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Great White Egret, Heron, Red Kite, Moorhen, Lapwing, Redshank, Black-headed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Dunnock, Blackbird, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Jay, Magpie, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Brambling, Greenfinch, Goldfinch.
|Mute Swan Cygnus olor with (mainly) Wigeon Anas penelope|
|Wigeon Anas penelope and Teal Anas crecca plus a Pintail Anas acuta|
Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information