Tuesday, January 16, 2018

📖 2018/Update #5 ~ Rutland & Eyebrook

🌤 💨🌬 3C Tuesday 16th January 2018 ~ A pretty challenging days birding in a stiff and bitterly cold north-westerly breeze, meeting up with Geoff Hood from the Brandon Marsh team for a planned visit to Eyebrook and Rutland Water. Our first stop Eyebrook and by the time we parked up for a look across the reservoir a count of twelve Red Kites had been recorded, with one group of six birds along the A6003 near Rockingham.

Record Image of two Drake Smew at Eyebrook.
In choppy conditions, it wasn't long before a couple of Drake Smew were located. These along with a selection of wildfowl which included a pair of Pintail and good numbers of Tufted Duck, Wigeon and Teal. Double figure Dunlin and circa100 Golden Plover were sent up by yet another passing Red Kite. Buzzard,Kestrel and a male Stonechat also noted from one of the viewing screens. In the fields opposite the reservoir three BrownHares enjoying the sunshine.

Well protected from the elements record shot of Little Owl 
Before heading on to Rutland Water a check of a well-known oak tree, which yielded one of the two Little Owls which reside here.

Our first stop at Rutland Water was the North-Arm and after finding a good spot to shield ourselves from the elements we spent a good 45-minutes scanning. No sign at this point of the hoped-for Black-necked Grebe but a single Scaup, drake Goosander, (2) Barnacle Geese, (2) Egyptian Geese and many Great Crested Grebes.

First of two Great Northern Divers ~ This one from the fisherman's car park
We did thankfully locate the Black-necked Grebe while stopping at the fisherman's car park a short while later out towards the far bank and while here the first of two Great Northern Divers for the day. Two more stops, firstly at the 'Old Hall', where we eventually picked out the Red-necked Grebe despite the increasing swell and then on to the far end of Hambleton peninsula for our second Great Northern Diver of the day!

Great Norther Diver ~ Far end of Hambleton peninsula 
Finally, another stop off back at Eyebrook on route home produced a single Ruff, (4) Redshank, (15) DunlinLittle Egret, (6) Red-legged Partridge and a Muntjac Deer!