Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Rutland Water

Smew Mergellus albellus
Tuesday 24 November

A calm, dull day with much damp on the ground but still able to get in almost three hours at Rutland Water before the light rain arrived.  I say "Rutland Water" but when you see both Little and Great White Egret you get a touch of deja view and feel as if you are birding back in southern Spain!  Still, almost every duck going was seen along with all the local corvids and a rather lovely supply of passerines.  No Fieldfares this morning but I did have a quartet of Redwings.

Distant Great White Egret Egretta alba
In addition to seeing a rather fine female Bullfinch I also had a flock of about eighty Greylags Geese accompanied by a score or so of Canada Geese and a couple of Barnacle Geese.  Strange to say, having only seen the one Egyptian Goose at the main reserve the Northern Arm turned up not only the above geese but at least a score of the former including a pair perched high in a bare tree.

Male Goosander Mergus merganser (above) and female below
Lots of Blue and Great Tits to be seen but just the single Longtailed Tit.  A couple of Robins but no Dunnock although I did have Greenfinch, Chaffinch and Goldfinch.  Two Jays flew across the track but I suspect it was the same bird seen on the return walk to the car park.

A pair of the many Pintails Anas acuta
Whilst it was lovely to see so many handsome Pintails and their bright cousins, the Wigeon along with scores of Gadwall, I think pride of place goes not so much to the Goldeneye but the Smew.  Indeed, I even found a second individual and this, along with a male and three female Goosanders and a single female Scaup quite made my morning.  On this occasion no Red Kites were seen and the female Kestrel was the only raptor noted all morning.

Female Smew Mergellus albellus

Goldeneye Bucephala clangula
If you ignore the hundreds of Lapwings then waders were conspicuous by their absence.  A small flock of about sixty Golden Plovers was a distant surprise but the I only had a single Greenshank, a couple of Green Sandpipers and about a dozen Redshanks to add to the ten or so Dunlin seen from the Visitors Centre.

Redshank Tringa totanus
All in all a very satisfying time with a final total of 54 species.  Come the morning, if dry, then I shall venture forth over to Norfolk and see if I can add a few more species to this month's UK list.

Female Teal Anas crecca
Birds seen:
Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Barnacle Goose, Mute Swan, Egyptian Goose, Shelduck, Gadwall, Wigeon, Mallard, Shoveler, Pintail, Teal, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Scaup, Goldeneye, Smew, Goosander, Pheasant, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Great White Egret, Heron, Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Lapwing, Golden Plover, Dunlin, Redshank, Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Pied Wagtail, Robin, Blackbird, Redwing, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Jay, Magpie, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Common Starling, Chafinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Bullfinch.

Mute Swan Cygnus olor

Time for the Wigeons Anas penelope to depart


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