5 January 2010

Rutland Water (03-01-10)

Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)

After running out of time on our last visit and therefore missing out on some of Rutlands other target species, we decided to head back up there. Only difference for this visit was a severe dose of the flu.
We arrived at Egleton and made our way to the feeders hoping that the freezing conditions would bring in some Brambling. No luck on this occasion but the feeders were a buzz of activity due to the weather. The slight dusting of snow on the ground provided some excellent light for taking photos aswell as making a nice backdrop. We spent a good 10-15 minutes here and were spoilt for choice on what to photograph.

Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)

Eurasian Jackdaw (Corvus monedula)

Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)

Hedge Accentor (Prunella modularis)

Common Blackbird (Turdus merula)

Blue tit (Parus caeruleus)
Great Tit (Parus major)

Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus)

Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)

A quick look over the frozen lagoon from the visitor centre provided very little other than the customary Reed Bunting.

Having recieved the latest info on the sites Bitterns we proceeded directly to the hide from where they were showing. Along the route we found a couple of Siskins mixed in with some Redpoll, though to distant to even attempt a shot. The Bitterns were on show as soon as we entered the hide. There are 3 individuals wintering here and although distant, we were treated to some good views of these superbly camoflaged birds. When standing in front of Reeds they seem to just disappear in front of your eyes! Again to distant to attempt a shot we made our way to the other hides.

Rutland is increasing in size with the creation of new lagoons. We entered the hide to one of these and found several hundred Golden Plover roosting on the ice, along with a few Lapwing.

A Kestrel was perched on a small Oak looking for something to come past below. No point wasting important energy hunting with itas more familiar hovering, when prey is forced out into the open by the frozen conditions and hunger. This sit and wait method of hunting is used by many other species of Raptor during cold weather.

Approaching hides along the Boardwalk provided a low flyover Buzzard, and various wildfowl. A Redshank was busy foraging along the edge of a small island, before a Great Black-Backed Gull tried its luck on the adjacent small flock of Teal!

Common Redshank (Tringa totanus)
With the day fast disappearing we made our way to Whitewell in the hope of seeing the Divers and Grebes. We walked along the shore before putting up the scope, and god it was freezing!!

We quickly found the Red-throated Diver but had no luck with the Great Northern thats present along with the Black-necked and Slav Grebes. A nice flock of Golden Plover overhead at dusk was a nice way to end a interesting day.
Species seen:-
Red-throated Diver, Great-crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Bittern, Mute Swan, Greylag Goose, Shelduck, Mallard, Teal, Gadwall, Shoveler, Pintail, Wigeon, Goldeneye, Goosander, Tufted Duck, Coot, Moorhen, Kestrel, Buzzard, Pheasant, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Collared Dove, Starling, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Redwing, Robin, Wren, Dunnock, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-back, Great Black-back, Common Gull, Redshank, Lapwing, Golden Plover, Tree Sparrow, Greenfinch, Bullfinch, Goldfinch, Ghaffinch, Siskin, Lesser Redpoll, Reed Bunting.
Grey Squirrel