Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Rutland Water

Wednesday 30 October

With today's proposed visit to Boston postponed (hopefully Frampton Marsh in the morning subject to weather) and the sun shining in a clear blue sky I drove over to nearby Rutland Water for a couple of hours to visit three specific sites.  Arriving Burley Fishponds on the North Arm it was obvious that there were more occupants than my short visit last week.  A plentiful supply of Cormorant and lots of Tufted Duck, the latter accompanied by the local Coot and Wigeon.  An Egyptian Goose rested on top of a pole and a few more were noted on the far bank.A lone Heron watched over the proceedings as a couple of Mute Swans drifted past.

A well-concealed Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
Whilst a couple of Carrion Crows fed on the nearby grassland and a Kestrel hovered overhead, a few Gadwall drifted past on the North Arm itself no shortage of Tufted Duck, Wigeon and Gadwall along with a plentiful supply of Coots.

Little Egret Egretta garzetta

Further over I was able to find a large flock of Canada and small number of Greylag Geese.  Plenty of Great Crested and a couple of Little Grebes were seen and in the far bank both a pair of Little Egret and Great White Egret.  Mainly Black-headed Gulls but also a couple of Greater Black-backed Gulls and the final bird before departing a one Wood Pigeon.

Great Tit Parus major, Goldfinches Carduelis carduelis and Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs

Noting the large number of Jackdaws as I approached the Visitors Centre I went straight to the Feeding Station and immediately recorded Great, Coal and Blue Tit along with Chaffinch and Goldfinch.  Entering the VC to check out the birds on Lagoon 1 I found a further 4 Great White Egrets and a couple of Little Egret plus maybe a dozen Heron.  Lots of Wigeon and Tufted Duck along with Teal and a single Mallard.  Lovely to see the arrival off so many Pintail and there, resting in front of the Centre, was a female Smew.

Pintail Anus acuta (left) concealing the female Smew Mergellus albellus (right)
back to the Feeding Station for a last look and able to add a Greenfinch and Marsh Tit to the list.  A trio of Collared Doves arrived at a back tree and a male Blackbird dashed across form one side to the other.  Whilst the lone Robin posed in front of me the single Dunnock remained in the cover of a bush to my right.
Dunnock Prunella modularis

So on to my final, third, site of the morning.  The Lindon Centre was actually closed but it was the garden feeder that interested me in the hope that it might have attracted both Yellowhammer and Tree Sparrow.  In the event neither.  However, there was a constant movement of Coal, Blue and Great Tit and especially the pair of very active Marsh Tits.  But what flighty blighters these are; never still and it seemed always away before you could focus the camera. 

Quick record shot of the Marsh Tit Parus palustris
In addition a pair of Wrens were messing around at the bottom of the bush adjacent to the artificial pond along with a Dunnock whilst above no shortage of both Chaffinch and Goldfinches as they accessed the feeders.
Coal Tit Parus ater
A couple of Starlings flew across and to the side a small number of Rooks were active in the neighbouring field.  And as I drove away up the lane to make my way home another cock Pheasant was determined not to miss out on the day's listing as it casually meandered up the verge.  Just over two hours and 43 species recorded.

What a bunch of tits; Blue Parus caeruleus, Great Parus major and Coal Parus ater

Birds seen:
Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Egyptian Goose, Gadwall, Wigeon, Mallard, Shoveler, Pintail, Teal, Tufted Duck, Smew, Pheasant, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Great White Egret, Heron, Kestrel, Coot, Lapwing, Black-headed Gull, Greater Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Marsh Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Magpie, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch.

A male Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs looks down on a mere Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis!

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