Sunday, 17 June 2018

Rutland Water :: 16 June 2018

I looked at sightings reports from Friday and didn't see anything close. I decided to make a day of it and go further afield, specifically to catch up with the ospreys at Rutland Water.

The drive up was steady but on the slow side, so I didn't arrive until 11.15am. OspreyThe car park was quiet and I bought my entry ticket from the Lyndon Bay Visitor Centre, dropped the parking permit onto the dashboard and set off.

The feeders from the centre were covered with young starlings and they continued to the star species as I reached the first corner. Here everything changed and the farm fields to the right attracted a different cast - whitethroat sang from the bushes and the wires overhead. I dropped into the Deepwater Hide but there was nothing to see, other than the enticing view of the osprey nest pole to the far left, in Manton Bay.

As I reached an area with trees on both sides, chiffchaff started to call. OspreyQuite good views of one, but with the bright sky behind the bird was in silhouette in the photos. I pushed on to the Waderscrape Hide seeing more and more butterflies as I progressed - predominantly speckled wood.

I got to the hide and virtually all the seating was taken - I picked out one of the remaining spaces at the furthest end from the nest pole; so distant that the extra few feet were not going to be much of an issue. In the nest were the female and the two chicks. On a pole to the left was the male, eating rather a large trout. As I watched, one of the chicks stood up and started flapping its wings - what a size the chicks are Great-crested grebe(almost as big as mum).

Sedge warblers sang from the rushes out in front of the hide. Sand martins, house martins and swallows covered the water and reeds. Large flocks of greylag geese floated around, in no hurry to go anywhere.

I remember my last visit to Rutland Water and how I thought that the Shallow Water hide gave as good views, so I headed off there. Only one person in residence when I arrived - tooled up for photos with a huge 800mm lens. He passed on that the male had finished with the fish and headed into the tree behind. He had been in the hide since 08.30am and at 10.30am had watched as the Little egretmale fished in the channel between the nest pole and our hide. Unfortunately this didn't happen again while I was there.

Sand martins landed on the small barbed-wire fencing that went out into he water, as did a pair of common terns. Greylag geese got a bit rowdy as did some little egrets - there were up to 7 egrets visible from the hide at one time. A beautiful pair of great-crested grebe fished close to the hide, in the grassy weed protruding from the water, while common terns dropped into the water to our right.

The male osprey had a few circuits of the tree, landed on the camera post and returned to the nest - Whitethroatall repeated several times. Unfortunately this was to be as close as I got to the bird. Great to see but no luck with a close view or a fishing sortie.

Sightings (37) included: black-headed gull, blackbird, blue tit, buzzard, canada goose, carrion crow, chaffinch, chiffchaff, common tern, coot, cormorant, goldfinch, great crested grebe, grey heron, greylag goose, house martin, jackdaw, kestrel, lapwing, little egret, magpie, mallard, moorhen, mute swan, osprey, red kite, reed bunting, robin, sand martin, sedge warbler, starling, stock dove, swallow, swift, tufted duck, whitethroat and woodpigeon.

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