We journeyed down the A1 to Rutland Water Nature Reserve, Leicestershire for a bank holiday break, hoping to see the Ospreys that spend their summers on the Reserve. We’d booked an Osprey Cruise which began with an introductory talk about the Osprey project followed by a cruise of the reservoir scheduled to coincide with the fishing times of the birds. It wasn’t until the last 10 mins of the cruise that we spotted an Osprey which headed off in the direction from whence we came, but the weather made for a pleasant journey & allowed us time to familiarise ourselves with the reserve.
The following day, in the grounds of the hotel we found this Dryads saddle (Polyporus squamosus) .
Over the hotel, swifts twisted & turned in the air before settling briefly on the weather vane above the belfry.
The local rabbit population appeared to be thriving, the illuminated ears of the young rabbits (kittens) peeping through the grass.
One of many Great Crested Grebes seemingly unbothered by the fishermen.
Onto Lyndon Visitor Centre where we visited a number of hides overlooking a variety of habitats including shallow & deep water lagoons, islands & channels, mudbanks, reed beds all with panoramic views of the reserve.
Amongst the highlights, we caught a brief glimpse of a Water Rail with chicks amongst the foliage. A pair of Shelduck shovelling for invertebrates in the muddy water.
An aerobatic Tern skims the surface of the water.
At one point a Red Kite flew overhead
On the shoreline, 5 Egyptian Geese
Reed buntings & warblers darted around the reed beds occasionally settling in plain sight.
Later in the afternoon we headed over to Egleton visitor centre, two passing birders pointed us in the direction of the new lagoon where they’d been watching an Osprey, so we picked up the pace in anticipation. At a distance we could see it sat high up on the nesting platform where it settled for half an hour.....
......before taking flight, presumably off to catch a fishy, which is where I just about managed to get this pic.
Also on the lagoon, it was nice to see a pair of Oystercatchers with chicks.
A group of Plovers flew in to rest on the far shore.
The other lagoons were occupied by more Great Crested Grebes, & we watched a pair of Coots feed their chicks.
Walking between the hides, the fields were full of golden glistening buttercups, swaying grasses & the round heads of purple clover, attracting butterflies, dragonflies & damselflies. Here's one that Ive been able to identify, Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) and some others I'm yet to ID.
Thanks to Rambling Rob who helped to identify this as a male Common Blue damselfly.
Peacock (Inachis io)
Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus)
A Cardinal beetle (Pyrochroa serraticornis)