Tuesday 31 March 2009

Rutland But No Ospreys

If Saturday was Winter, Sunday was Spring. The winds had dropped and the sun was shining, though when I left the house I had to de-ice the car's windscreen. After the disappointment of missing the osprey at Draycote, I had decided to go see some at Rutland, as apparently 3 were already back.

The path to the hides was still showing the signs of the wet day before, though it was drying out in the morning sunshine, but the air was filled with midges and mozzies. Horrid things and there were billions of them. Huge clouds of the vampiric beasties. No wonder the swallows have already returned - yes, what a welcome sight that was. A pair, buzzing around making the most of the early season flies.

Along the path was what turned out to be one of the volunteers for the reserve and he'd clocked a lone osprey miles up in the sky with his scope. With hindsight I should have been more nosey and asked for a view...

From the hide the lake was like a mill pond, and I had some really good views of Egyptian geese and also some decent views of shelducks, which seemed to be laughing at each other with their strange warning calls. One of the Egyptian geese had also taken a shine to the osprey nest, and was peering out of it. Not sure what the osprey will think of that when it decides to move back in! Also around were gadwell, various gulls, pied wagtails, a little egret, wigeon and some goosanders.

In a way it was good that the ospreys didn't show, as it encouraged me to visit the other side to explore the rest of the reserve. There has been some significant work done there too, with new lakes and hides constructed. Making the most of the mounds of earth left from this, was a pair of wheatear. Lovely to see in the sunshine, posing on the top and keeping a watchful eye on my movements.
In the older lagoons, I managed to see teals, redshanks, little ringed plovers, grey herons, a lone female goosander, swans and the other usual stuff like moorhens and coots. At the visitor centre I managed to spot some goldfinches, tree sparrows and a lone siskin, though it didn't return when I had got the camera rigged up for it.

Arriving home for the Sunday roast, I was slightly miffed to see on the internet that a female osprey had returned to the nest at 4:50pm. Typical. Oh well, there's always next time...

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