Sunday 2 August 2020

Rutland Water

Willow Tit Poecile montanus 
Saturday 1 August

Another lovely sunny day promised so, by popular request, took Jenny and her visiting guest, Welsh Debbie from Leeds, over to Rutland Water for the morning.  Only broken cloud with much blue sky and warm sunshine but still a good breeze when exposed in the open.  Today was something of a record.  My first visit to Rutland Water in twenty-five years when I did NOT see a single Jackdaw!

A short stop at the Feeding Station before buying our entry tickets produced  number of Blue and Great Tits along with both Dunnock and Robin.  A Collared Dove rested on the far feeder tree and a couple of Wood Pigeon dropped in. But then, possibly, the bird of the day with the arrival of a Willow Tit.  One hungry tit as the bid made frequent visits to the feeders.  Indeed, it was still visiting when we made a return visit at the end of the visit before taking the car for the extended journey home.  On this latter occasion we also managed to add both Chaffinch and House Sparrow.

Willow Tit Poecile montanus 
Then off to the north with a first stop at the Redshank HideCrow, Mallard, Cormorant, Coot, Tufted Duck, Barn Swallow and Sand Martin added to the list followed by Great White and Little Egrets before taking the woodland track via Grebe, Canada Goose and Heron noted, and Osprey Hides to Lagoon 4 and the Sandpiper Hide.

Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus with Lapwing Vanellus vanellus in front
Once safely ensconced in the hide a good selection of birds both in front of the hide and across the various islands.  Lots of Coots and Black-headed Gulls along with Mallard and a few Gadwall.  a good number of Mute Swans and this water held the main Greylag Geese flock.  In addition to the Black-headed Gulls in front of us, away to the left a number of Great Black-backed Gulls and even some Lesser Black-backed Gulls.  More Little Egrets and at last a selection of waders.  In addition to the many Lapwings we also noted a couple of Oystercatcher and both Little and Greater Ringed Plovers.  At the far end of island 4 was a single Greenshank.  A juvenile Pied Wagtail was also working the same area as the plovers.  Just the one Moorhen but we did have some fishing Common Terns to prepare us for the next hide.

Common Tern Sterna hirundo
So onto the Shoveler Hide overlooking lagoon 3.  Here we found very many Tufted Ducks plus a couple of Pochard and nearer to the hide on the island immediately in front also the remnants of the Common Tern colony, Coot, Mallard and Lapwing.  To our left a pair of Green Sandpipers were foraging and slightly further away a handful of Little Egrets along with a second Great White Egret.

Great White Egret Egretta alba with Little Egret Egretta garzetta in front and Common Tern and Black-headed Gull 
A few Great Crested Grebes were seen from the Buzzard Hide along with a rapidly disappearing, low Osprey; just the briefest of views.  At the far end of this track at the Lapwing Hide, overlooking the main expanse of the South Arm, there must have been hundreds of Tufted Duck along with more Great Crested Grebes, Canada Geese and Mute Swans.

A pair of Mute Swans Cygnus olor with their cygnet below
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And so back to the Feeding Station and car park but not before taking advantage of a visit to the observation room at the Visitors Centre overlooking lagoon 1.  Lots more of the same recorded, including more Cormorants, Moorhen, Coots, Tufted Ducks, Heron and Great White Egret plus a couple of Barn Swallows.

Osprey Pandion haliaetus guarding two of its four chicks
A stop at the the roadside near the water ingress point at Manton Bay was very productive.  Not so much the number of Great Crested Grebes and Little Egrets but the view of the Osprey nesting platform which held four chicks and an adult keeping watch from the camera mounting above the nest.

Not just Ospreys but a whole bunch of  Pochards Aythya ferina, Tufted Ducks Aythya fuligula and Great Crested Grebes
Finally, a very quick stop at the Lyndon Visitors Centre and a walk through the busy picnic field at Normanton before continuing on our way back to Stamford.  And looking over the fields to Belton house the sight of a pair of soaring Red Kites and a single Buzzard.  Great way to spend the morning and with a total of 40 species.

Bird seen:
Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Gadwall, Mallard, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Heron, Great White Egret, Osprey, Red Kite, Buzzard, Moorhen, Coot, Oystercatcher, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Common Tern, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Willow Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Carrion Crow, House Sparrow, Chaffinch.

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

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