This Christmas was a busy one, catching up with friends and family. I did though have Friday 28/12 free to myself, so I thought I'd go somewhere a bit different, but not too far. I settled on giving Rutland Water a go, to finish the year off with some good winter birding.
I'd intended to leave earlier than I did, but anyhow by 10am, I popped into Eyebrook Reservoir on the way, to look for the group had Smew that had been about.
I stayed probably longer than I needed to, but there were quite a lot of birds to go through! Unfortunately, I couldn't find the Smew, but did find the recently reported Bewick's Swan. There was also a nice mix of some 40+ Dunlin & c200 Golden Plover towards the inflow end.
On then to Rutland, starting at the dam. Here I spent around 45 minutes enjoying the confiding Snow Bunting that at one point wandered towards me, pecking around my left foot!
Before I moved on, I also sussed out a couple of the over-wintering 1st-winter Shags, which showed well just off the dam.
The North Arm next, produced good scope views of the 2 Slavonian & 2 Black-necked Grebes, together with at least 2 Great White Egret, a Green Sandpiper, a couple of Redshank, 3 Goosander and lots of commoner wildfowl.
A move onto nearby Old Hall, on the Hambleton Peninsular, produced the Red-Necked Grebe a little way offshore, loosely tagging onto a load of Tufted Duck. Having seen Little & Great Crested earlier, that completed the FIVE grebe species for the day. Pretty impressive indeed, especially for an inland site! 5 Bewick's Swans were also here, exceptionally distant but could just about make them out!
Having got to Rutland later than planned earlier on, meant that I was now running out of time! But I still managed to grab the last hour and a bit of light on the Egleton Reserve. After a bit of searching, I eventually found a Smew and it was worth the wait...a lovely drake at the back of Lagoon 3. A Curlew and another Great White Egret were also closeby.
I spent a couple of nights over new Years with the Mrs in Topsham, Devon, on the Exe Estuary. Staying literally right on the estuary, a bit...
Day 4 Another early start before breakfast was the plan, visiting the much celebrated Tagdilt Track, well known for it's impressive ra...
This week saw the first autumnal gales of the year and as such, attention turned to the possibility of displaced seabirds. With such reward...
Monday 03/09/18 was a really good day on patch. It began with the rare discovery of an autumn Wood Warbler , foraging with a large tit flock...