Naturelog: 6th May

Rutland Water

Today sees us leave Lincolnshire and head west into Rutland to visit Rutland Water, the premier site in England for Western Osprey. The Osprey became extinct as a breeding bird in the UK in 1916 (1840 in England but continued to breed in Scotland till 1916). Birds began to summer again in Scotland in 1954 (probably birds from Scandinavia) and the first breeding occurred in 1959. The Scottish population continued to expand over the following years. This was slow at first, but with the banning of oregano-chlorine pesticides the numbers began to climb and the Scottish population is now estimated at 250-300 pairs. It was then decided that there should be a re-introduction into England (at Rutland Water) and into west Wales using birds from Scotland transfered as young so as to imprint their new location on the birds in the hope that when they returned from Africa the following year they would relocate and breed at the new sites. This has been successful on both sites and Rutland now boasts around 8 breeding pairs plus some non- breeders. Other suitable relocation sites are being sought where the process can be repeated. We saw nest pylons when we were at Arne in Dorset, one of the new reintroduction sites, earlier in the year.

An Osprey nest at Lyndon

Our first stop then was the south side of the water, where a pair of Ospreys use a nest platform in front of 2 hides. This is one of the longest established nesting sites and allows public viewing without disturbing the birds. Along the walk to and from the hide a number of Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Common Whitethroat were singing and we got an excellent view of a male Yellowhammer, although he flew once I pointed the camera at him.

The male Osprey from the Lyndon pair
The female Osprey at Lyndon on the nest (photo of televised feed into visitors centre)

Once we had seen the Ospreys, we moved over to look at the complex of pools on the west side of the water which provide a lot of different habitats and give a good variety of birds. Here there were good numbers of various ducks and some Common Terns, the first I had seen this year.

On the way back to our cottage, we saw a falcon sitting on a telegraph pole. We thought it was probably a Kestrel, but as we drove nearer it flew and we could see it was a Eurasian Hobby.

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall [sp] (Mareca strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Western Osprey [sp] (Pandion haliaetus)
Red Kite [sp] (Milvus milvus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Eurasian Hobby [sp] (Falco subbuteo)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Sand Martin [sp] (Riparia riparia)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Common House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
White Wagtail (Pied) (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Chloris chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Yellowhammer [sp] (Emberiza citrinella)
Common Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

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