Saturday 30 June 2018

Rutland Water

Great Spotted Woodpeckers Dendrocopus major
Saturday 30 June

With the continuing hot weather back in the UK and still not adjusted to the "hour behind", I was up at 5 and arrived at my local patch, Rutland Water, a few minutes after 6.  The hope was to get in a couple of hours birding before it became unbearable hot.  It seemed a good idea at the time as I passes a Red Kite and also recorded Crows, Rooks and Jackdaws along with local Blackbirds and Wood Pigeons but, upon arriving and reaching the Shoveler Hide overlooking lagoon 3 where a Bittern has reported a couple of days previously I realised my folly.  Not only was the very bright sun low in the sky but shining directly into the hide.

Nesting Common Terns Sterna hirundo
Arrival on site and a visit to the feeding station produced Great and Blue Tits along with Robin and a Moorhen with two well-grown chicks.  Lots of Jackdaws, Wood Pigeons and Blackbirds about along with a couple of Collared Doves.  A pair of Magpies gave me a cursory look as I made my way to Lagoon 3 and Blackcaps were singing loudly in the neighbouring bushes and trees trying to out-sing the local Chaffinches.  A Green Woodpecker was heard calling as I approached the hide.

Mute Swans Cygnus oloe and signs of domestic bliss
On the water itself a number of Mute Swans with their young of the year and a noticeable difference in the size of the respective cygnets.  Mallards and young  along with a few Shoveler and scores of Coots plus the breeding colony of Black-headed Gulls and chicks.  More Moorhens were seen. Next up came the feeding Sand Martins and then the appearance of Tufted Duck, Gadwall and Teal.  The first of a few of the breeding Common Terns flew past and as I adjusted to the raucous singing of the breeding Reed Warblers I noticed a handful of Common Pochard and then a good number of LapwingLagoon 4 held a Little Egret and pair of Heron along with more Black-headed Gulls and Common Tern plus also the local Great Black-backed GullsLapwings were feeding/resting on the islands.

Male Common Pochard Aythya ferina
Back at the feeding station a few great and Blue Tits, mainly juveniles, and then the visit of a family of Great Spotted Woodpeckers.  As I headed back to the car park I was able to observe the single Spotted Flycatcher in the Hawthorne Tree where, I believe, the bird successfully nested last year.  Barn Swallows were now flying above the neighbouring fields.

A total of three Great Spotted Woodpeckers Dendrocopus major at the feeding station

A quick stop at Burley Fishponds produced a number of Cormorants, Tufted Duck and a couple of Greylag Geese in addition to the hen Peacock and her five off-spring that were walking along the lane.  Leaving, a Pied Wagtail moved off the road.

Then it was back home taking the anti-clockwise circuit which produced an Osprey perched on the platform above its nest in Manton Bay and a brief stop at the Lyndon Centre confirmed Greenfinch, Goldfinch and Tree Sparrow feeding on the feeders.  All in all, a relatively successful visit which saw me back in Stamford before 9 o'clock before the sun got too hot, and I still had to tackle the back lawn which now resembled a jungle with grass standing over 50cm high, having recorded 42 species and not a Common Starling nor Dunnock in sight.

Birds seen:
Greylag Goose, Mute Swan, Gadwall, Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Pheasant, Cormorant, Little Egret, Heron, Osprey, Red Kite, Moorhen, Coot, Lapwing, Black-headed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Common Tern, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Pied Wagtail, Robin, Blackbird, Reed Warbler, Blackcap, Spotted Flycatcher, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Magpie, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch.

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