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A twitcher at Rutland Water

Date Posted: 01/12/2017 - Author: Patrick, Bird & UK Wildlife Enthusiast - Category: General

As keen twitcher and bird enthusiast I took a rewarding trip to Rutland Water, a reservoir in the East Midlands. Being mid-December I was excited at the prospect of seeing migratory birds and ducks in their winter coats- so handsome.

rutland scenery 

I love garden birds but I have a particular soft spot for waders and wildfowl and I’ve heard they feature in abundance, some 20,000 birds, at the reservoir Rutland Water.

Parked up in the East Anglian Water Birdwatching Centre and armed with binoculars and camera I planned my route. Rutland Water is split up into seven lagoons and the main water and I endeavoured to visit them all keeping warm by keeping a fast pace between hides.egret

Starting at Lagoon 1 I started my bird-watching excursion in the viewing gallery of the main visitor’s centre. It was a sunny day in winter – and the centre is central heated- bliss. 

Binoculars focused, I scanned Lagoon 1 and was delighted straight away to spot two Great White Egrets on the reed edges, lots of whistling (not quacking) wigeon – large dabbling ducks, cormorants, and tufted ducks, plus the odd heron flying past. They always remind me of prehistoric pterodactyls in flight.shoveler

Well wrapped up (as I suspected the other hides would not have central heating) I made my way to Lagoon 2 and into the Redshank hide this time to see a couple of male shovelers, larged-billed  dabbling ducks, sleeping and huddled with a group of wigeon in the freezing cold.

Circumnavigating the lagoons and visiting the hides my bird list was quickly filling. With over 500 acres of wetland habitat I was afforded some great views as well as bird spots. Here’s my list of what I saw on that cold December day;

  • Mallard - 110

  • Wigeon – 75

  • Shoveler- 2

  • Gadwall – 2

  • Tufted Duck - 8

  • Canada Geese - 55

  • Lapwing- 68

  • Curlew – 1

  • Buzzard – 2

  • Cormorant – 9

  • Great White Egret 2

Let’s see if I can beat this list next year.

It’s fun spotting birds. Check out the nearest reserve near you, treat yourself to some binoculars and come up with your own bird-spotting list. You can even do a bird-spotting list for the birds you see in your garden.

See more information on Rutland Water and the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust

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