Saturday, December 08, 2012

Packed Lunch

Barn Owl in Poor Light!
A change of scenery, a packed lunch and a few hours at Rutland Water with Dee this afternoon.

On arrival around midday a brief search for the reported Hawfinch in the car park area proved fruitless, I think from recent reports this is an early morning bird! A flock of Long-tailed Tit, Jay and a very friendly Robin kept us amused.

The reserve itself seemed pretty quiet as we set off north from the Nature Centre, several Fieldfare and Redwing were feeding in the remaining berry crop.

Long-tailed Tit
After navigating the flooded paths (only boots today) we decided to head straight for The Shoveler Hide on Lagoon 3 and have our packed lunch. Even the Lagoon seemed quieter than normal but in the end there was plenty on offer with 7 Redshank, 3 Snipe and a lone Ruff. Waterfowl included a decent number of both ♂♀Goldeneye, Gadwall, Wigeon, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Great-crested Grebe and ♂♀Goosander but the highlight was 3 Redhead Smew.

Lagoon 4 was even quieter and the only highlights here being several Shelduck, 4 Pied Wagtail, Siskin over and a distant Great-spotted woodpecker. A large flock of Lapwing flushed from a nearby field held 2 Snipe and 2 Golden Plover within.

Sunset Over Eyebrook On Route Home!
Nothing much to report from other areas of the reserve and so back to the Centre for a hot chocolate and some luxury birding from the heated balcony area. Quite a bit on offer here with Stonechat, Little Egret, Curlew, Buzzard, ♂Goosander and the star of the show a Barn Owl quartering over the reed beds, perching for a short while as the light was fading, a nice end to the afternoon.