Sunday, 18 April 2010

Rutland

Our latest RSPB trip was to Rutland Water.
The relatively short journey up to Rutland came up trumps with my first Red Kite of the year right on the Nortants/Rutland border.
Our first stop was at MantonBridge where a pair of Ospreys were in courtship on the Manton Bay nest.
Several Shelduck were seen here as well as a duck with a 'stiff tail' that turned out to be a first summer male Goldeneye.
We then moved up to the Eagleton Reserve where a Tree Sparrow accompanied a few Chaffinch and Greenfinch on the feeders.
Walking around to Harrier Hide, Geese were seen in the form of Greylag, Canada, Egyptian and 2 Pinkfeet.



Pinkfoot

Waders present were Oystercatchers, Lapwings and a single male Ruff. A few Common Terns flew over the lagoon as well as a flock of Sand Martins.
Working our way around to the Fieldfare Hide, we were serenaded by Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps, some showy Willow Warblers and a couple of 'reeling Grasshopper Warblers. I staked out one of the latter and was eventually rewarded with a long flight view.
The short path down to the hide also gave us a singing Sedge Warbler and also the sub-song of a Nightingale.

After lunch back at the mini-bus we set off to look at lagoon 2. On here it was interesting to see a pair of Stock Doves prospecting all of the duck nesting boxes, a group of Shelduck having a fall-out, a large flock of Sand Martins flying over the purpose built nesting colony and a Snipe that jumped up briefly.
The newly constructed lagoon 4 was next, and the specially made islands held waders in the form of Ringed and Little Ringed Plovers, Dunlins, Ruff, Lapwings, Oystercatchers and quite a few Redshank. There were also 5 Yellow Wagtails and a small flock of Linnets, but best of all was the Osprey that appeared and landed on the nest out in the middle.
I saw my first Orange Tip butterflies of the year today as well as Small Tortoiseshells, Brimstones and Peacocks.

On the journey back 3 more Red Kites were seen, before we called in at Paxton Pits Nature Reserve.
Surprisingly we failed to see or hear any Nightingales.
The Heronry Pit as it's name suggests holds quite a large Heronry, and from the hide it was possible to see several youngsters in their nests. This Pit also held two handsome drake Red crested Pochard, but that really was as good as it got.

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