A very fruitful trip down to Cambridge this week.... both for business and birding. Had lunch with a client who is also a birder, who gave me some pointers for my trip home, so had a stop off at Rutland water, but before that:
70. Red kite
Two of them were circling over the A1 just north of Sawtry in Cambridgeshire, one clearly with a wing tag.
Had an hour at Milton Country park, where there was plenty of wildfowl and the woods were alive with singing and calling birds, but no new birds, but several rabbit (3) noted.
Then in the evening, while visiting my alma mater (Jesus College), an owl flew silently over me, but did not get a good luck at it. Then, as I wandered the courtyards, I heard it calling so went to investigate and got clear views of a silhouetted owl hoo-hoo-hooting!
71. Tawny Owl - a UK tick!
So, on the way home yesterday, I pulled off the A1 to visit Rutland Water. Started at the visitor centre, where all the small lagoons were frozen and frosty, but walked out to the north of the visitor centre, visiting each hid in turn, eventually finding open water at the larger lakes. And then things got interesting:
72. Kingfisher - a single bird flying between three perches at the corner of one pool.
73. Reed bunting - several feeding by one hide
75. Water Rail - a lifer!
The rail russled out of the reeds directly in front of "crake" hide and plodded around in shallow water for 2-3 minutes before disappearing under the hide. It then came out on the other side of the hide a minute later and slowly picked its way along the lake side, in and out of reeds, but being in view for another 5 minutes or so! Lovely!
Last edited by lazza : Monday 25th February 2013 at 09:18.