Archive for the ‘Rutland’ Category

Osprey nest

Some more photos from our excellent trip to Rutland water last weekend

Osprey

Osprey in flight (Keith)

Orange Tip

Rutland Water

Sedge Warbler

Treecreeper (Keith)

Rutland Water

After seeing the Ospreys Keith and I headed back towards the reserve’s visitor centre. On the way, we saw two Red Legged Partridges on the path ahead of us.

Red-legged Partridge

Back near the centre we met up with Sue, who having completed her craft shopping had scouted out a Treecreeper nest in another part of the reserve, so we headed off in that direction. It took a lot of patience and attempts to some decent photographs of the Treecreepers as they brought food back to the nest – we presume they were feeding young already. They move so fast once they land on the tree – you see them, they are in the nest and then away again. But patience and many attempts paid dividends in the end.

Treecreeper

Treecreeper

Treecreeper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Butterflies were prevalent as soon as the sun came out and we recorded at least 5 species with Orange Tip being the most prevalent.

Orange Tip (m)

We also found a pair of Grat Crested Grebes who were displaying

Great Crested Grebe

Great Crested Grebe displaying

Dunnock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We made our way back to the car and went onto the reserve’s second visitor centre at Eggleton. We only added a couple of species here, most notably our only wading bird of the day – Northern Lapwing. But as we were walking back to the carpark from the centre we added Bullfinch, Song Thrush and Collared Dove to the days list in quick succession.

Bullfinch (m)

And so we started off on the journey home, but the day still wasn’t quite finished as near Norman Cross on the A1 we were treated to the sight of 8 Red Kites in the air together, circling over the road. The recovery of this species once limited to a few birds in West Wales is one of the great conservation successes of the past 20 years.

An excellent end to an excellent day’s birdwatching, with some fantastic photography opportunities.

Red-legged Partridge [sp] (Alectoris rufa)
Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Western Osprey [sp] (Pandion haliaetus)
Red Kite [sp] (Milvus milvus)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Sand Martin [sp] (Riparia riparia)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Willow Warbler [sp] (Phylloscopus trochilus)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Garden Warbler [sp] (Sylvia borin)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Eurasian Treecreeper [sp] (Certhia familiaris)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Eurasian Tree Sparrow [sp] (Passer montanus)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Eurasian Bullfinch [sp] (Pyrrhula pyrrhula)
Common Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Unidentified small white spp (Small white / Green-viened white)
Orange Tip (Anthocharis cardamines)
Peacock Butterfly (Inachis io)
Small Tortoiseshell [sp] (Aglais urticae)
Speckled Wood [sp] (Pararge aegeria)

Red-tailed Bumblebee

White-tailed Bumblebee

A bright Saturday morning saw Sue, Keith and me on the 120-mile journey from home to Rutland Water nature reserve in the East Midlands. Rutland water was the first nesting site for Western Osprey in England and is still the most southerly of the few known sites.

Rutland Water

Sue dropped us at the reserve and went off to do a couple of visits to nearby craft shops, whilst Keith and I set out to see the target species for the day – Western Osprey and Tree Sparrow. The latter proved to be no problem as 3 Handsome male birds sat on the feeders outside the visitors centre.

Tree Sparrow

 

From here we made our way towards Manton Bay, where one pair of Ospreys were nesting. In front of one hide we had excellent views of Sedge Warbler as it displayed and sang hoping to attract a mate.

Sedge Warbler

The Osprey nest was clearly visible on its platform and the female bird, incubating 4 eggs, could just be made out. The male returned to the nest 3 times, although he didn’t bring any food and eventually decide to perch in a tree before he headed off again.

Osprey nest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Male Osprey perched in tree

No, we didn’t climb up to the nest for this one – taken from the CCTV camera feed observing the nest

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the way back from Manton Bay we were fortunate to get another excellent view of a warbler – this time Willow warbler as it sang from its perch on a wire – they are not normally so obliging.

Willow Warbler

Eurasian Coot

Great Cormorant

Target species were seen but what would the rest of the visit bring – Part 2 of our trip to follow tomorrow.

 

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During a recent trip to Leicestershire Sue and I got the opportunity to visit the fantastic reserve at Rutland Water on two occasions.

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The first on Sunday afternoon was in heavy rain and so we did not venture further than the visitors centre at Eggleton. Nevertheless, it was good birdwatching with excellent numbers of Pintail, a Goldeneye and two Goosanders with a brief flight view of Great White Egret. Also had excellent views of Reed Bunting and Stonechat.

Pintail (m)

Pintail (m)

Reed Bunting (m)

Reed Bunting (m)

Chaffinch (m)

Chaffinch (m)

Pheasant

Pheasant

 

 

 

 

 

The following day the weather was much better and we made our way along the trails to the north of the centre. Highlights included better views of Great White Egret, a Smew, a party of Red Crested Pochard and a small group of Pink-footed Geese.

Great White Egret

Great White Egret

Red Creasted Pochard (m)

Red Crested Pochard (m)

Smew (f). Photo by henry McLin (https://www.flickr.com/photos/hmclin/)

Smew (f). Photo by henry McLin (https://www.flickr.com/photos/hmclin/)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think this must be one of my favourite reserves in the country, always something to see and good variety as witnessed by the 50+ spp seen in two short visits in not very good weather.

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Pink-footed Goose (Anser brachyrhynchus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Goldeneye [sp] (Bucephala clangula)
Smew (Mergellus albellus)
Common Merganser [sp] (Mergus merganser)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Egret [sp] (Ardea alba)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
European Stonechat [sp] (Saxicola rubicola)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
Eurasian Bullfinch [sp] (Pyrrhula pyrrhula)
Common Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

My trip to Rutland Water on Sunday gave me lots of opportunities to photograph Egrets. When I first started birdwatching nearly 40 years ago we would have travelled a long distance to see any species of Egret. Now Little Egret is an established bird, which in some places outnumbers Grey Heron and Great White Egret is a common visitor.

Little Egret

Little Egret

 

Little Egret

Little Egret

 

Great White Egret

Great White Egret

 

Great white Egret (adult)

Great white Egret (adult)

 

Little Egret

Little Egret

 

Great White Egret (Juvenile)

Great White Egret (Juvenile)

 

Little Egret

Little Egret

Rutland Water Nature Reserve

Rutland Water Nature Reserve

A fine clear morning saw me heading north from London in the company of the local RSPB group bound for Rutland Water in Leicestershire. This would be my second visit this year as Sue and I had stopped off here on our way to Northumberland during the summer, but this time I would have more time to explore this wonderful place.

Rutland Water is a large reservoir opened in 1976 to store water for the East of England. It has since become a major watersports centre and also a wonderful place for wildlife. It is impossible to visit all the potentially good areas in a day as the reservoir and surrounding land covers such a vast area, so our trip today would concentrate on the area around Eggleton, where there a number of small lagoons which have been managed to provide different habitats.

Rutland Water Nature Reserve

Rutland Water Nature Reserve

A visit to the hide overlooking the feeder station (in the hope of seeing Tree Sparrow), but only Great and Blue Tits, Chaffinch and Goldfinch are present.

Chaffinch (f)

Chaffinch (f)

I make my way south towards Heron Bay visiting a couple of lagoons on the way. It seems very quiet and only a few Herons and Egrets along with Lapwing and Gadwall are present. Reaching Lagoon No 5 there are at least 8 Little Grebe present and a party of 10 Barn Swallows pass over on their migration.

Northern Lapwing

Northern Lapwing

 

Little Grebe

Little Grebe

 

Little Egret

Little Egret

Heron bay is busier with large numbers of Great Cormorant, Mute Swans, Gadwall and Canada Geese present. One interesting sight is a platform with the remains of an Osprey nest. Rutland Water is one of the few sites in England where the Osprey nests and the water authority have provided a number of platforms around the reservoir for them to build their nests upon. The last of the Rutland Ospreys had left on its migration south just about a week ago, so the platforms were the only reminder of the importance of this reserve to a rare breeding bird.

Osprey Nest

Osprey Nest

Returning north back towards the reserve centre I paused to look over Lagoon 1 and could see a Large White Heron-like bird but at that distance, it was difficult to be sure of its identity. I made my way to another hide overlooking the same lagoon but further west and was rewarded with good views of a Great White Egret, first perched on an island and then later feeding in the Lagoon. A Eurasian Hobby was busy hunting over the Lagoon and a Kingfisher was also seen here as it alighted briefly on a fence.

Great White Egret

Great White Egret

In the afternoon I went northwards from the centre and was rewarded on Lagoon 3 with an even closer view of a Great White Egret which posed just outside the hide. This bird appears to be a juvenile (dark legs and a yellow bill) as opposed to the adult seen on Lagoon 1 (pale legs and black mark on bill end) -so 2 different birds present.

Great White Egret

Great White Egret

There were also 2 Black-tailed Godwits here which together with small parties of snipe and large numbers of Northern Lapwing were the only wading birds that I could find.

One final trip back to Tree Sparrow hide failed to turn up the elusive bird and I wonder at their status as this used to be an almost 100% certainty at this site when I have visited in previous years.

Apart from the birds I also recorded 5 species of dragonfly and 7 species of Butterfly.

Common Darter

Common Darter

Then it was time to rejoin the coach for the trip back to London. Great weather, great location and some great wildlife.

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great White Egret [sp] (Ardea alba)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Red Kite [sp] (Milvus milvus)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Eurasian Hobby [sp] (Falco subbuteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Common Snipe [sp] (Gallinago gallinago)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Stock Dove [sp] (Columba oenas)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Common Linnet [sp] (Carduelis cannabina)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Small White (Artogeia rapae)
Green-veined White [sp] (Artogeia napi)
Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni)
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
Small Tortoiseshell [sp] (Aglais urticae)
Speckled Wood [sp] (Pararge aegeria)

Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta)
Brown Hawker (Aeshna grandis)
Southern Hawker (Aeshna cyanea)
Ruddy Darter (Sympetrum sanguineum)
Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum)