Monday 1 October 2018

Rutland Water

Monday 1 October

Following an enjoyable week-end away visiting my sons, etc (during which I also delighted to see so many Sky Larks), I returned to Stamford last night so able to spend the morning at nearby Rutland Water.  Whilst it might have looked beautiful and sunny, no sooner had I arrived on site than I realised how cold it was, probably no more than about 6C!!!!  Welcomed by Carrion Crows, Wood Pigeons, a single Magpie and a quartet of Jackdaws as I made my way to the Burley Fishponds.  Lots of water birds about and I soon had a list of ducks including Mallard, Teal, Shoveler, Tufted Duck, Gadwall and Wigeon.  No shortage of either Cormorants or Great Crested Grebes and also a couple of Little Grebe.  Naturally, there was also a supply of Coot and Moorhen with the former more in evidence.  Larger birds included Mute Swan, Greylag and Canada Geese plus a handful of Egyptian Geese.  On the far bank, as well as both Black-headed and Great Black-backed Gulls I also noted a little group of five Little Ringed Plovers.

Female & male Gadwall Anas strepera followed by male Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
Time to move on to the feeding station in front of the Visitors Centre only to find the place almost deserted.  A Grey Squirrel was hogging the far feeder and all the local House Sparrows seemed to be working the nearer feeders.  having sorted the Blackbirds and a couple of Collared Doves I eventually managed to record both Great and Blue Tit along with a pair of Dunnock before moving on to Lagoons 2,3 and 4.

Blue Tit Parus caeruleus

Lagoon 2 produced Pheasant, Lapwing, Great White Egret and Little Egret from the Grebe Hide then a rather "empty" Lagoon 4.  Here the standout sighting was about a dozen or more Egyptian Geese.  So on to the Shoveler Hide overlooking Lagoon 3 and this, too, seemed very quiet at first sight .  A quartet of Lapwing and a sole Ruff whilst, in the distance, I Could see a tight flock, almost a raft, in excess of 1000 Tufted Duck.

Part of the 1000 plus Tufted Ducks Aythya fuligula
A quick look at the back of the same lagoon form the Buzzard Hide not only confirmed the number of Tufted Ducks but also a pair of Great White Egrets on the artificial island along with a single Grey Heron.  A single Green Sandpiper was working the shallow water in front of me and also a resting Herring Gull at the back of the water..

Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
So to the Smew Hide to get a better look at the end of Lagoon 2.  Seven Little Egrets plus more Herons and a great selection of ducks including Mallard, Teal , Shoveler and Gadwall.  This time three Green Sandpipers along a with a single Snipe.

Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus

The final stop at this end of the reserve was to look in at the Crake Hide where I counted 13 Little Egrets.

Little Egret Egretta garzetta
So back to the Visitors Centre to post my sightings and, at the same time, note the arrival of yet another Great White Egret.

Determined to reach 40 species for the morning I took myself to the far end of the feeding station to watch the site from the Woodpecker Hide and so have the sun behind me.  No sooner seated than a cock Pheasant wandered in to feed on the dropped seed and the House Sparrows were once again feasting, the feeders having been topped up during my absence.  First a Robin put in an appearance and then both a female Greenfinch and a male Chaffinch on a single feeder at the same time.  From then numerous Blue and Great Tits along with House Sparrows, Chaffinches and a single Dunnock till, eventually, a Goldfinch put in an appearance so that I could make my departure.
Female (above) and male Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs

Undertaking the circular route round Rutland Water I noted both a pair of Red Kites and a Jay at Lyndon before making my way back to Stamford with a final tally of 43 species for the morning.

Red Kite Milvus milvus over Rutland Water

Birds seen:
Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Egyptian Goose, Gadwall, Wigeon, Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Tufted Duck, Pheasant, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Great White Egret, Heron, Red Kite, Moorhen, Coot, Little Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Ruff, Snipe, Green Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Jay, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch.

Corrmorants Phalacrocorax carbo "hanging out to dry"

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

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