|Misty view of the Great White Egret Egretta alba|
Just arrived back in Stamford for a fortnight and one of the advantages in living so close to my local patch at Rutland Water is that when the forecast suggests rain all day save for a couple of hours first thing in the morning, you can literally "pop" down the road for a couple of hours and be back before said rain arrives. This was very much the case this morning. Overnight rain but very overcast and dull at first light so at Rutland Water by 8.15 and departed just on two hours later.
Greeted by Jackdaws and Wood Pigeons and just a single Great Tit at the Feeding Station so straight off down to lagoon4 before any rain might arrive. Walking down I encountered both Robin and Blackbird and a large, noisy flock of Rooks as well as more Jackdaws. On the neighbouring field the odd Crow and a trio of Pheasants.
|Gadwall Anas strepera|
As soon s I reached the Sandpiper Hide overlooking Lagoon 4 it was obvious that the water levels were very high - but relatively few ducks. Indeed this was also true of both lagoons 3 and 2. In front of me a dozen or so Wigeon along with a similar number of Gadwall and a couple of Coots to my left. In the background, floating through the dull vision, a similar number of Mute Swans and a few Greylag Geese. Lots of Lapwing and a single Redshank before finding both the Teal and Mallard. No shortage of Black-headed Gulls and even a small flock of Common Starling. Using the scope I was also able to find the lone Pintail and a small flock of Pochard.
|Wigeon Anas penelope|
Onto the under-repair Shoveler Hide overlooking the western end of Lagoon 3 and, again, noted for its lack of birdlife on the open water. Lots of resting Cormorant and many Great Crested Grebes further out with Teal and Mallard closer to the hide. Just a couple of Shoveler and a trio of Moorhen but away to my left a single Great White Egret.
|Teals Anas crecca on lagoon 3|
Straight back to the Visitors Centre and still not good light but able to find another pair of Great White Egrets plus single Little Egret and Grey Heron. More Coots and Black-headed Gulls along with the resting Cormorants but then the sight of a male Goosander to lighten the spirit. Nearer to me a Stonechat was perched on a low bush and a couple of Canada Geese flew in. On checking the gulls I also managed to find a single resting Great Black-backed Gull.
|Male Chaffinch Frigilla coelebs|
Finally, it was back to the Feeding Station where, at lest, I now had a little more activity recording many Blue and Great Tits along with a single Marsh and couple of Coal Tits. No shortage of Goldfinch and a few Chaffinch plus more Robins, just the one Dunnock and a pair of House Sparrows. A Collared Dove made a very brief appearance and then it was time for me to depart for the North Arm.
|Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis at the feeding Station|
Up at the North Arm it was mainly Mute Swans, a few Wigeon and Coots. The large flock of Tufted Duck was out on the main water along with the many Great Crested Grebes so nothing new to add to the morning's sightings. All packed and away hone at 10.15 so 41 species on two hours and no rain - yet!
Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Gadwall, Wigeon, Mallard, Shoveler, Pintail, Teal, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Goosander, Pheasant, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Great White Egret, Heron, Moorhen, Coot, Lapwing, Redshank, Black-headed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Dunnock, Robin, Stonechat, Blackbird, Marsh Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Goldfinch.
Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information