Monday 3 July 2017

Rutland Water

Monday 3 July

An interesting, shortened morning as I stupidly put the camera in a rucksack and then forgot to take a spare battery so you all know what happened within the hour!  But the week-end has been ma case of "taking coals to Newcastle" as they say.  The very hot news around the Midlands is the arrival of seven, yes seven, Bee-eaters at the sand quarry at Old Leake and it very much looks as if a breeding record is on the way for this year.  Heard this morning that 2,500 birders had visited the site over the week-end so jolly pleased that I see them in Spain and was not part of this human invasion.

All on target being up early enough to arrive at Rutland Water car park by a few minutes after 7.30 and proceeded to spend a couple or so hours checking out the northern lagoons before returning to the Visitors Centre and time for a chat with both both Tim Appleton and Mike in the InScope sales office.  On arrival I was greeted by the usual assortment of Wood Pigeon, Starling, House Sparrow and Collared Dove but very, very few Jackdaw.  A couple of Carrion Crows as I made my way down the approach road and even a few feeding House Martins.  A Blackbird flew across the car park as I made my way down to the deserted feeding station; all very quiet so expected to see some good birds but, alas, just a handful of juvenile Blue Tits along with Dunnock and juvenile Robins.

Male Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula
Th trek down to the first of the norther hides, Redshank, overlooking Lagoon 2 produced more juvenile Robins and then a rather splendid cock Pheasant.  A Mistle Thrush was strutting its stuff on the track whilst, overhead, a Red Kite moved slowly away from the area.  From the hide I quickly observed the large number of Black-headed Gulls including a good number of juveniles.  Also preset were Mallard Mute Swan, Canada Geese, a few Pochard along with my first Little Grebe of the morning and, resting on their respective short posts, both a Little Egret and a Grey Heron.  Over the water the Sand Martins from the nearby nesting colony were actively seeking out their breakfast.

Little Egret Egretta garzetta
So on to the Grebe and Osprey hides where I added both Coot and Moorhen along with the first of very many Tufted Duck and also Common TernLapwings at last along with a few Great Crested Grebes whilst using the scope revealed a single, distant, Osprey roosting of a branch overlooking the deep water of North Arm.

Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus
Moving on to Lagoon 4 and the Sandpiper hide I found a pair of Ringed Plovers and more Lapwings along with a handful of Pied Wagtails.  In addition to the Shelduck I also found a quartet of Teal.  More Black-headed Gulls, Mallards and another Little Egret before I found the resident Great Black-backed Gulls.

Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
The Shoveler hide overlooking Lagoon 3 had a whole host of water birds, most already recorded, along with families of both Mute Swan and Little Grebe.  The Shovelers looked in a rather sorry state as they undertook their moult and a Reed Warbler was scrabbling about in the bottom of the reeds to my left.

Mum and Dad Mute Swan Cygnus olor with family
Returning to the Visitors Centre I managed to add both Greylag and Egyptian Goose along with a couple of Cormorant and a few Common Tern then a return visit to the feeding station added both Great Tit and a single Goldfinch.

Feeding Common Tern Sterna hirundo
My final stop was up at the North Arm on the way home which, at first, seemed very quiet until I discovered the mass of Great Crested Grebes, Coots and Cormorants.  More Black-headed Gulls, Mallards and Tufted Ducks and even feeding Common Terns.  I may not have seen the 4000 plus Gadwall that were noted at the week-end but certainly there were some in a poor state of plumage.  All this and still home before noon so that I could both charge and replace camera batteries in readiness for a more length visit later in the week - subject to all other jobs having been completed.

I know they're suppose to be "ugly ducklings but are you one of mine?

Birds seen:
Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Mute Swan,  Egyptian Goose, Shelduck, Gadwall, Mallard, Shoveler, Tufted Duck, Teal, Pochard, Pheasant, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Heron, Osprey, Red Kite, Moorhen, Coot, Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Black-headed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Common Tern, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Sand Martin, House Martin, Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Mistle Thrush, Reed Warbler, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Starling, House Sparrow, Goldfinch.
An apparently headless juvenile Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus

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