Monday, 11 May 2009
Wow, Rutland Water
The plan was to scooch down to Rutland to finally bag one of the many Cattle Egrets in the country these days, by the end of a very long day we'd scored a list of 81 species and some memorable views - this despite missing out several hides and the Manton Bay area.
Big surprise was the new lagoon on the north side of Egleton Reserve, even googling after the visit I find very little online to cover quite what an interesting development it is. Being Rutland it's another big area of water with islands and scrapes that are an obvious magnet for all kinds of waders, and crowning glory of this achievement is an Osprey platform with attending bird. To give an idea of what it's already getting we saw Sanderling, Sandwich Tern and Avocet on or around that lagoon (gales over the last few days certainly helped with that). At one point the two Avocets mobbed the Osprey, which really underlines two of the big successes in British bird conservation over the last couple of decades. Who'd have imagined that even 15 years ago?
On other lagoons, three Black Terns, a pair of summer plumage Black-necked Grebes, and dozens of Hobbies hawking high and low, are all birds to make any day. Early evening a Cuckoo finally showed itself after teasing with distant calls all day long.
Shouldn't forget the reason we travelled in the first place, the Cattle Egret. Always kind of distant, invariably gorgeous, and yes it was among the cows (substituting for the elephants and rhinos of Africa).
An apparently plastic* Ruddy Shelduck hybrid raised and disappointed hopes, and yet what a richly coloured bird nonetheless.