Paul and I took a trip up to Rutland Water this afternoon, mainly on a quest to see a drake American Wigeon that had been around since early last month.
The journey up produced a few raptors in the shape of a few Kestrels, a couple of Buzzards and a splendid Red Kite
Our first port of call was Whitwell Harbour where the Yankie had been spending it's time over the last week.
It took no time at all to find the Wigeon flock, 300 or so of them, but despite the two of us going over it several times we just couldn't locate the transatlantic visitor.
Out in the bay there were Mallards, Gadwall, Tufted Ducks,Pochard, Coots and Little Grebes present.
While looking around the car park, we happened to notice a flock of about 20 Siskins in the Alder trees above us. A scan through them showed there to be 3 Redpolls among them and whats more further scrutiny revealed them all to be Mealy Redpolls. So a lifer for Paul after all, just not the one he expected.
We then moved onto Barnsdale, where there were lots of birds on the water including quite a few Goldeneye and Great-crested Grebes.
A tight group of three small Grebes were spotted out in the middle of the reservoir and through the scope were found to be all Slavonian Grebes.
The bay around the corner also held lots of birds including quite a few Little Grebes, a Shelduck and a drake Red-crested Pochard. On the far side a Buzzard stood on the grass tucking into something unseen, flanked by a couple of Crows who were hoping for any left-overs.