Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Norfolk Trip Part One: Via Rutland

Okay, a lot of updating to do here after our brief Easter sojourn in Norfolk, for the 4 days we managed spot on 100 species, a target I hadn't dared to speak of before totting up the list.

First stop on the way south was Rutland. The local news had mentioned the Osprey were returning so we hit the south side of the reservoir, the Lyndon Reserve where sightings are apparently most likely, it had just opened to the summer public that morning.
As we arrived there was quite the hubbub among the volunteers, they were very excited. Turned out a sixth bird had just returned, a female, and immediately rested into one of the next structures. We headed for the overlooking hides.
That's the female, she was noticeably bigger than the male.

And he was ready to mate, little matter that she'd only just completed her migration all the way from Africa. Three times he mounted and three times she very certainly shrugged him off. So instead the male headed off to collect sticks and grass for the nest.

That's him during his display flight (you can read more about this pair here).

During which he was joined by a couple of Red Kite. Very special sights indeed.

And on the ground in front, two Muntjac nibbled on the reed edges.

In all honesty there wasn't very much else to be seen around the Lyndon Reserve so we headed for the Egleton side where habitat is a bit more varied, with wader scrapes etc. Even there it was pretty quiet, plenty of nice birds, Goldeneye, Pintail, Egyptian Goose, Chiffchaff, my first House Martin of the year, and the Tree Sparrow at the feeding station near the visitor centre.

It was a marvellous first leg to the trip.

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