Sunday, 25 September 2011

Rutland Water - 24th September 2011

Rutland Water, an amazing nature reserve run by Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, was the site for this month's field trip of the Chesterfield RSPB group. 18 people took part and between us we saw a total of 67 species, including 6 species of wader, 5 species of gull, 3 different types of bird of prey, thousands of waterfowl and 5 species of butterfly (Comma, Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral, Brimstone and Speckled Wood)!

First stop on today's trip was the main Egleton Visitors' Centre in Oakham. Looking out from the upstairs hide, we logged our first birds including 2 Little Egrets, dozens of Gadwall, Shoveler,  Tufted Duck, Pochard, Mallard and a juvenile Shelduck.

Little Egret

Next stop was the Sandpiper Hide overlooking the Lagoon 4 where 3 Swallows were spotted, along with 2 Egyptian Geese, 1 Ruff, a male Pintail and a flock of 30+ Golden Plover. Lapwing Hide provided the group with a few more summer migrants with a Blackcap, a Willow Warbler/Chiffchaff and 10+ House Martins amongst the birds spotted. Also from this hide were an amazing total of 16 Little Egrets!

Egyptian Goose

Walking back to the main centre we stopped off at Redshank Hide, where we saw a hunting Kestrel and had sustained views of a fishing Kingfisher.

The afternoon saw us travel across to the Lyndon Reserve. We managed to visit three of the hides on this part of the reserve and saw 2 Red Kites, several more waders (2 Redshank, 1 Ringed Plover, 2 summer plumaged Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Curlew), 2 juvenile "commic" terns, which were most likely Common Terns and 2 Common Gulls.

Common Gull

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Linacre -WeBS Walk 17th September 2011

Wow, what a super turn out for this month's WeBS walk. Many thanks to everyone who came (you know who you are!), which resulted in some good waterfowl counts and an amazing sight of 4 Common Buzzards being mobbed by a Sparrowhawk!

Autumn leaves

Out on the water Mallard numbers had increased to 79, a juvenile Moorhen was only the second recorded this year and was part of 9 counted today. Coot numbers were at 11, 1 Little Grebe was seen as were: 1 Grey Wagtail, 21 Tufted Ducks and 15 Mandarin Ducks. Also over the water were  at least 5 Swallows, 10 House Martins and 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull.

Top reservoir

In the surrounding woodland we managed to find, amongst the usual suspects, a Willow Tit, a singing Chiffchaff, a large flock of at least 50 Siskin and a Treecreeper.

The only butterfly species recorded today was a Red Admiral, found basking in the sunshine at the end of the walk.

Red Admiral

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Linacre - 10th September 2011

At this time of the year the woodlands around the reservoirs begin to take on a more autumnal feel with many trees producing bright red berries, which will provide food for the wildlife during the winter months. Two such examples were on show today. The first, Hawthorn, I can recognise, but the other species appears to be some kind of maple. See what you think.


Maple species?

As well as the autumn fruits, the birdlife on site today was feeling distinctly autumnal with waterfowl numbers beginning to build and my first flock of Siskin for the winter, approximately 30 over the middle woods.

Last October we had over 130 Mandarins on site, so today's count of 56 looks like a good start in building up to a high total again. Mallard numbers were also high, with 73 counted, and the other counts were: Moorhen (7), Coot (6), Little Grebe (3), Great-crested Grebe (1), Tufted Duck (24), Grey Wagtail (3).