Sunday, 24 November 2013

A day’s birding at Rutland Water, Rutland - November 22, 2013

With a good forecast Dave and I decided to go to Rutland Water and went to the north arm first.  We soon found the two Black-necked Grebe but the Long-tailed Ducks as usual proved a little more elusive.  Dave found the first-winter and I found the adult female but they were not together today and it surprising how difficult these birds can be to find.  Just a couple of the Barnacle Geese were in evidence today and there was also a couple of Redshank on the shore and a nice male Goosander in the fishponds with a Red Kite flying directly overhead.  A Grey Wagtail was observed on the roof of the cottage as we drove away.

Egyptian Goose over the north arm

Red Kite over the north arm

Red Kite over the north arm

After some lunch we made a quick visit to the centre where we found the male Stonechat.  We then walked to shoveler hide on lagoon three where we found a single red-headed Smew our first of the winter and counted ten male Pintail but the Bitterns did not venture out during our visit.  We returned to the centre and found a male and four female Goosander and another male was visible on lagoon two.  There was another thirty Pintail visible on lagoon one and a couple of Curlew and two Redshank were also observed.  A Water Rail also appeared briefly to the left of the centre.

We decided to visit redshank hide on lagoon two to see if the Water Vole I had seen earlier in the week would oblige.  We soon had our second Water Rail of the day and it wasn’t too long before the Water Vole was observed.  Today it provided more prolonged views as it sourced roots of plants that were exposed following some recent work.  It would climb up a steep bank to take the roosts and then return to water level to devour them.  It eventually dropped into the water and disappeared.  There were several parties of Starling passing over and at one point a rather large flock appeared to get quite excited and we picked up a Peregrine that was flying amongst them with a captured bird in its talons as it flew off with it prize.

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