Trip reports

Visit to AW/LRWT Rutland Water

Visit to AW/LRWT Rutland Water
The view from Sandpiper hide [Photo: Peter Berrill]

Sunday, 31 January 2016

The consolation was that each of the 22 birders enjoyed a window seat. The drizzle was constant as we travelled along the A14.

On arrival at Rutland Water we passed the Visitor Centre and took the road to Upper Hambleton managing to 'park' the coach in the Fisherman's car park. Standing in light rain and with poor visibility the group found a complete set of grebe; little, great-crested, red-necked, Slavonian and black-necked, and for an encore a great northern diver!

Dave the driver ably reversed the coach back up the narrow track and we headed to Egleton and the Anglian Water Birdwatching Centre. From there we looked out over lagoon 1 sighting wigeon, gadwall, pintail, mallard, teal, shelduck, Canada goose and Egyptian goose.

In the trees, on the way to Sandpiper hide, we had a great spotted woodpecker. Overlooking lagoon 4 a curlew flew in landing on one of the banks and a small flock of lapwing dropped into the shallows just offshore. There were several great black-backed gulls loafing on the far side of the lagoon.

Lunch was taken in the Bittern hide as the clouds started to break the sun appeared. Retracing our steps toward the birdwatching centre, a red kite flew overhead and there were many redwing in the nearby meadow. Just outside the 360 degree hide there were a flock of wigeon on lagoon 5. Looking out over lagoon 7, two pairs of goosander emerged from behind the reedbed, a male dived and came up with a large fish and the other three chased it across the pool; suddenly another pair of goosander appeared and the male snatched the fish and swallowed it in one massive gulp!

Another red kite was seen as we followed the track towards our next destination, and in the field below Lax Hill were three hare, of which two chased each other for quite some time, finishing off with a boxing match. We counted five altogether in the vicinity.

A kestrel was seen just before we entered Fieldfare hide. Looking out into South Arm, we added another Slavonian grebe to our list. Great-crested grebes and displaying goldeneye were also on show here. A large trout was seen jumping out of the water. With time running out our last port of call was Harrier hide, on a narrow spit a peregrine falcon sat preening in the fading sun.

The group ended another good day out, managing 76 bird species in total.

Peter and Lesley Berrill