Trip reports

Coach trip to Rutland Water, May 20th

Coach trip to Rutland Water, May 20th
Osprey by Chris Gomersall (rspb-images.com)

Thursday, 8 June 2017

The prime purpose of this trip was to see ospreys. In that we were entirely successful - it would be hard to fail at Rutland Water, particularly visiting the Lyndon Centre on the South Shore. But there is much else to see there, and this part of the reserve is much more compact, making it easier to get round.

The osprey nest at Rutland Water is sited in Manton Bay on a pole over the water. There are two hides which give excellent views of the nest, and the Woodscrape hide is staffed by volunteers who can answer any questions. So as soon as we arrived at Rutland we headed down that way. Practically the first thing we saw on leaving the visitor centre was a yellow wagtail, beautifully sunlit on an overhead wire and gleaming against the background of dark cloud. Willow warblers called from the nearby trees.

By the time we reached the hide that dark cloud had burst, and our first view of the ospreys was through a torrential rainshower. The female was just visible laying flat on the nest, protecting the chicks. The male was sitting hunched on the adjacent perch, probably wondering why he had bothered to come back from Africa. However, ospreys are by definition pretty waterproof and the shower soon passed. Maya, the female, sat up and we had clear views of both birds. A large screen in the hide shows close up views of the nest.

As well as ospreys, in front of the hide we had close views of sedge warblers - sometimes looking right down their bright red throats. Reed buntings were also easy to see. Over the water there were swifts, swallows and sand and house martins, apparently undeterred by the showers. Common terns and a couple of black terns were also seen. We were all called out to see whitethroats and a garden warbler singing in the bushes and trees behind the hide.

Back at the visitor centre for lunch we watched tree sparrows and a yellowhammer on the birdfeeder. Nest boxes have been placed around the visitor centre for the tree sparrows, and they could be seen popping in and out. After lunch we headed into the woodland area adding treecreeper, blackcap and goldcrest to the list. A lucky few saw a spotted flycatcher and a sparrowhawk was seen weaving through the trees. We had some nice views of osprey overhead as well as hobby and red kite.

We ended the day with a list of 77 species seen.