Monday 10 August 2020

Rutland Water

Manton Bay Ospreys Pandion haliaetus

 Sunday 9 August

Missed the start of the GP from Silverstone so went for a late afternoon visit to Rutland Water so I could be back in time for the edited highlights and, in the meantime, not be aware of the race outcome.  Still warm and sunny with only a few light clouds in the blue sky and almost free of any breeze.  Should be perfect birding weather and arriving around 5pm just about all the day visitors had now departed.  Approaching the site the usual flurry of Wood Pigeons and Carrion Crows along with a couple of Magpie so decided to start at Manton Bay.  Parking on the wide path on the upstream side of the bridge over the ingress I hoped that the Osprey might in in full view from my advantage point.

Ospreys at nest with Mute Swans Cygnus olor in background

And indeed they were though the mass of ducks seen last week had now dispersed further into the main waters.  Three Ospreys resting on the pole next to the nest site and the enlarged photo revealed that a further youngsters was in the nest.  (This nest has, once again, produced a total of four young and all are about to fledge and tour the water before their eventual departure to African shores.)  However, in addition to five nearby Little Egret and a family of Carrion Crows, at least ten occupied Great Crested Grebe nests were seen along with more individuals further out along with Mallard, the odd Lapwing and a Heron.

Little Egret Egretta garzetta

Almost as far away as the Shallow Water Hide the large bare tree in the water held a large colony of resting Cormorants and, naturally, there were also Coots to be seen.  Similarly, not long before I recorded both Canada and Greylag Geese whilst most of the Mute Swans were to be seen in the far distance.

The main Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo flock

Back to the reserve proper, passing both Collared Dove and Jackdaw as I entered, and a visit to the Feeding Station which was now becoming quite active as smaller birds came to fill up ready for the coming evening.  Still lots of both Blue and Great Tits, mainly youngsters, but also a couple of Robin, a pair of Blackbirds, three Chaffinches and a quartet of Dunnock.

Dunnock Prunella modularis

A short stop at the Redshank Hide produced both Common Tern and Sand Martin and the next stop, Osprey Hide, had a departing Rock Dove along with a Great White Egret.  So on to Lagoon 4 and the Sandpiper Hide.  Upon entering lots of Greylag Geese to be seen and they seemed to be settled in for the evening.  The middle island held a pair of immature Great Black-backed Gulls and the here also Black-headed Gulls in front of me.  Away to the eft a large mixed flock of gulls, mainly Lesser Black-backed but also a number of Great Black-backed Gulls.  However, immediately opposite the hide was a single Wigeon confirming that these birds are gradually making their way back for their winter holidays.  In addition a good number of Lapwing and more Little Egrets were to be seen.

Wigeon Anas penelope

Next to my final hide on the north side of the reserve where I entered Redshank Hide to find another local birder in attendance.  Not too many Common Terns to be seen along with both Mallard and Lapwing on the island in front of the hide.  Just beyond the island a good-sized flock of Tufted Duck. To my left two Great White Egrets and a trio of Little Egrets and then a first Teal of the winter and way out to the far side a large flock of Pochard.  Informed by my fellow birder, I was then also to find the visiting Black Tern as it patrolled the waters just beyond the narrow island.  A Moorhen paddled its way across to the island and on the far left a sleeping Greenshank.  Finally, a small number of Gadwall and my companion informed me that there was a good variety of waders in Lagoon 1 that could be seen from the Mallard Hide.  Banking on the motor racing programme starting with all sorts of chat and review before the race itself, I thought I had just about enough time for a short visit before heading home.  Lots more of the same to be seen, including another three Great White Egrets, but nothing new apart form the large Starling flock.

Great White Egrets Egretta alba along with a Canada Goose Branta canadensis

Birds seen:

Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Gadwall, Wigeon, Mallard, Pochard, Teal, Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Great White Egret, Heron, Osprey, Moorhen, Coot, Lapwing, Greenshank, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Common Tern, Black Tern, Rock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Sand Martin, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Starling, Chaffinch.

Common Terns Sterna hirundo at nest boxes

Greylag Geese Anser anser preparing for evening roost

Little Egret Egretta garzetta

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

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