|Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus
No rain, just lovely warm sun, a little light cloud and no wind so no need to have carried my mac on an early morning visit to Rutland Water, arriving about 7.45 and staying a couple of hours or so and just covering the northern end of the reserve. In reality, probably making the most of the weather as my scheduled visit mid-morning Tuesday with friend Bryan Stapely, now moved back from Spain to Hartlpool, is coming to stay for a couple of nights and see my local birding sites. Could be damp but at least next Wednesday the hides are much nearer the car park and far more birds to be seen if last week's visit is anything to go by.
|A few of the 32 Little Egrets Egretta garzetta counted on l;aggon 4
|Robin Erithacus rubecula
Once at the Sandpiper Hide it appeared to me that the water level had receded a little since my last visit and there was certainly no shortage of Coot, Black-headed Gull, Mute Swan and both Canada and Greylag Geese. However, what quickly drew my attention was the number of Little Egrets present at the site. Unfortunately, many moved across before i could take a photo of the main flock but I was able to make a count of 32 - and there may have been more in some of the concealed ares. One Great Crested Grebe still on its nest with others on the water along with both a Little Grebe and a handful of Moorhen. the only waders to be sen were the many Lapwing until I found a couple of Oystercatcher.
|Greylag Goose Anser anser parents with to of their four chicks
Also present were Shelduck, Mallard, Tufted Duck and Teal plus a few Great Black-backed Gulls. There were a few Common Tern but fewer than a fortnight ago. What I did notice in the hide, and I seemed to follow the pair from hide to hide, the increasing number of photographers who just carry long-lens cameras; no binoculars or scope between them. Is this a sign of the times?
On to the Shoveler Hide overlooking Lagoon 3 bu a very short stop as the photographers had the favoured windows with the remainder looking straight into the bright sun. From the Buzzard Hide I picked up my first Reed Warbler and Pochard and very obvious, judging by the large numbers on the far bank of Lagoon 3, that some of the wintering ducks are beginning to return.
|Just a handful of the hundreds of ducks on the far side of lagoon 3
|Common Tern Sterna hirundo on the nesting platform
|One-year old male Blackbird Turdus merula moulting out of his 2018 feathers (note the brown primaries0
Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Shelduck, Mallard, Teal, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Pheasant, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Heron, Moorhen, Coot, Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Black-headed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Common Tern, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Pied Wagtail, Robin, Blackbird, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Rook, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Bullfinch.
|Distant Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis
|Just a very brief visit form this particular Little Egret Egretta garzetta
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