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Saturday, 3 November 2018

Trip report: Rutland Water
Great White Egret, GrahamC57 from Flickr (https://flic.kr/p/FunFoe)

Trip report: Rutland Water

Thirty lucky souls got to enjoy the stunning Egleton reserve in beautiful sunshine on our coach trip.

This internationally famous nature reserve is managed by the Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust in partnership with Anglian Water and provides one of the most important wildfowl sanctuaries in Great Britain, regularly holding in excess of 25,000 waterfowl.

It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, designated as a European Special Protection Area and internationally recognised as a globally important wetland RAMSAR site.

The reserve occupies shore line and shallow water lagoons along 9 miles of the western end of Rutland Water and covers a total area of 1000 acres. It was created in the 1970s with the construction of the reservoir.

Shortly after leaving the Visitor Centre, we were treated to view of song thrush, blackbird and redwing - it was nice to be able to compare the winter visiting redwing with two of our resident thrush species.

In the first hide we stopped in, one of the eagle-eyed younger members of our group quickly found some scaup amongst the large raft of tufted duck in front of the hide. We were also treated to good views of a marsh harrier hunting and the first of several great white egrets that we saw over the course of the day.

A little further on, looking out across the main expanse of Rutland Water we were treated to a couple of fly pasts by one of the local peregrines. Obviously a regular occurrence as the huge flocks of waterfowl didn't seem at all bothered. This meant we could continue to enjoy view of smart male goldeneye as well as several more great white egrets (this time accompanied by a single little egret).

After lunch the group split up and headed out in various directions across the large reserve. Only some members of the group were lucky enough to see a bittern but all of us enjoyed some great birding in the autumn sunshine. As a group we managed to rack-up a total of 79 bird sightings over the course of the day.

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