Wednesday 7 August 2019

Rutland Water

Wednesday 7 August

A return visit to my local patch at Rutland Water arriving just before 7am for a couple of hours concentrating on the northern aspect pf the site.  Clam, clear weather and very little cloud and away back home by 10.15 before any threatened rain might arrive - but not before a quick look at Burley Fishponds which contained very many Great Crested Grebes and a good number of Tufted Ducks but, as yet, no sign of winter Wigeons arriving.  On the other hand, over 40 species recorded in the  two hours including a female Scaup so no complaints.

Driving along the top road past the North Arm many Wood Pigeon and Crow sightings, not to mention the Mute Swans on the water below, and even a couple of Barn Swallows.  The fields approaching Egleton held good numbers of both Greylag Goose and Jackdaw and, approaching the church, a pair of Pheasants with four well-grown chicks on the road.

Once parked up on site, now it would appear fully laid out with the marquees in preparation for next week's start to Birdfair 2019, it was a stop at the feeders to confirm both Blue and Great Tit along with Goldfinch and Chaffinch.  A female Blackcap was in the tree to the right with an adult Robin in the tree to the left.  Once the tits had moved off in came a couple of House Sparrow and Collared Doves before I made my way to Lagoon 4 but not without first checking the water in front of the Redshank Hide to confirm many Mallard and a fishing Common Tern with the local Sand Martins feeding over the water.

Robin Erithacus rubecula
So on to the Sandpiper Hide overlooking Lagoon 4 where I immediately saw a pair of Little Grebe to my left and many Little Egret.  Checking out the area I then added many Canada and Greylag Geese, Mallard, Moorhen and Coot.  A pair of Egyptian Geese were feeding in front of me before retreating to take up high residence on the Osprey pole next to the nest platform.

Egyptian Goose Alopochen aegyptiacus
This is my favourite hide so plenty of time to sit and observe and make use of both scope and camera.  At the far back not only the Great Black-backed Gull families but also a Yellow-legged Gull.  The large flock of Black-headed Gulls were mainly to the far left but also a number, including juveniles close by in front of the hide.  To the extreme left a pair of Avocet appeared to join the many Lapwing and then, right opposite, my first of our Little Ringed Plovers.

Little Egret Egretta garzetta with juvenile Black-headed Gulls Larus ridibundus in front

Continuing my search to cover the whole lagoon I then noted a small flock of Common Starling and a dozen or so Barn Swallows were feeding beyond the to the left.  Only a handful of Teal and just the one Great Crested Grebe observed but a single Pied Wagtail arrived to feed on the water's edge just in front of the hide.

Relatively quiet looking at Lagoon 3 from the Shoveler Hide, not helped by having the low, bright sun in my face.  Mainly Mallard and Coot with  a small number of Teal to the left.  Behind me a very active Sedge Warbler and then a visit by a Reed Warbler.  Just before leaving a few Tufted Duck were recorded.

Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus (above) and Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus (below)
A stop at the Buzzard Hide to get a different view of Lagoon 3 produced very many Mallard and Tufted Duck along with a small number of Common Pochard.  However, pride of place must go to the single female Scaup that was feeding alongside her Tufted cousins.

Male Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula

Nothing to report from the Smew Hide but the Crake Hide produced many more Mallard and a couple of Great Crested Grebe.  Once at the Lapwing Hide overlooking the South Arm I noted the many Mute Swan and Tufted Duck along with visiting Cormorants to do a little morning fishing.

Working my way back towards the Sandpiper Hide I cam across a party of magpie and then the water itself produce more Little Ringed Plovers along with a single Dunlin.

Dunlin Calidris alpina and with Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius (below)

Back at the Feeding Station for my final observation before heading off home I had more of the same along with a male Blackcap and then the arrival of a Great Spotted Woodpecker.  Finally, back on the main with the North Arm to my right, I had a Red Kite above me so a not an unpleasant way to end the morning's birding.

Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major

Birds seen:
Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Egyptian Goose, Gadwall, Mallard, Teal, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Scaup, Pheasant, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Red Kite, Moorhen, Coot, Avocet, Little Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Dunlin, Black-headed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Common Tern, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Pied Wagtail, Robin, Blackbird, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Blackcap, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Goldfinch.

Good to see the Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major sharing the "table" with an adult Great Tit Parus major
Looks like a "tip-toeing" Little Egret Egretta Garzetta

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