Trip reports

Field Trip - Rutland Water

Osprey in larch tree

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Rutland Water is a place that never fails to please birdwatchers at any time of the year. The nature reserve is huge making it almost impossible to cover the whole lot - including all of its eight lagoons - in one visit. But its size also means that, although it is very popular, visitors spread out meaning that at times you can feel as if you are the only person there.

We were welcomed by good views of Spotted Flycatchers from the short section of road between the car park and the centre. Good numbers of hirundines were also around; Swallows, Sand Martins, House Martins and Swift all making the most of the airborne invertebrates with Hobbies joining in.

Heading south from the Birdwatching Centre in the hope of seeing the famous Ospreys nesting in Manton Bay, we called in at the hides along the way. On the large expenses of water were Great-crested Grebes, a few Little Grebes and ducks including Shelduck, Wigeon, Gadwall, Teal, Mallard, Shoveler, Pochard and Tufted Duck - of which there were good numbers. Little Egret and Grey Herons were occasionally seen feeding on amphibians at the edge of the reed beds whilst waders favoured the gravel bars which hosted the odd Sanderling and Dunlin, a Yellow-legged Gull, plenty of Oystercatcher, Avocet, Ringed Plover and Little Ringed Plover. The excellent camouflage of the last two made it hard work to locate them. Lapwings showed off their aerial displays with Redshank adding to the soundtrack plus Curlew occasionally joining in from the adjacent grassland areas.

The more wooded areas were full of song from Cetti's Warbler, Sedge and Reed Warbler, Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat, Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler. Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Linnet and Reed Bunting were also seen by most people and some also saw Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers and a Kingfisher.

The best place to see the famous Ospreys from the side of the lake that we were on was the Wigeon Hide -although, even from here, you needed a scope to get decent views. Other birds of prey seen included Red Kite, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard and Kestrel - in addition to which a Barn Owl showed up not far from the centre.

44 people attended
94 bird species seen