Sunday, May 20, 2007

Fineshade Woods and a quick peek at Rutland Water

Saturday was too unpredictable weather wise so we opted for Sunday, even though this meant more humans at the nice spots, still if we started early...

So we set off to the top-end of Northamptonshire again, this time parking up at the village of Barrowden and setting off on what the book said is a 10-mile walk. (The book being - Walk East Midlands edited by Chris Thompson, published by Sigma Leisure, walk number 41). The walk itself was quite pretty though there was quite a bit of road or near road walking and some of the landowners weren't exactly falling over themselves to keep the rights of way distinct and clear!

At one stage we noticed a Red Kite taking off close by, which enabled me to get a closer snap than before:

Magnificent birds. When we stopped at the new visitor centre and Fineshade woods we met a residential expert/guide chap who told us about their translocation from Scandinavia and Spain to reinstate the breeding population in the UK.

The rest of the walk was pretty enough but unremarkable so we probably wont do that walk again.

Being in the vicinity and it only being mid-afternoon we decided to try Rutland Water again, in search of some waders, a long shot really!

Once there we espied plenty more Common Terns:

While walking the path between lagoon's II and III we heard a strange popping noise so ducked into the hide from behind which they were coming. On it's own was this drake Ruddy Duck, displaying with his head banging, driving forward in the water and the little quack they do at the end of the routine. These Ruddy Duck's have been mercilessly destroyed this year across the UK, because they migrate to Spain and compete with the White-headed Ducks there during mating season, as you can tell with this displaying male here at Rutland Water, in the UK ?!?!

Anyway what do I know?

The Ruddy Duck was shortly joined by this male Great Crested Grebe, which was also feeling very vocal, so we got to match up sight and sounds, knowledge we're going to need more of.

This Lapwing was just about the only wader in lagoon III:

There was a pair of Oystercatchers on Lagoon II with a youngster but they were keeping their distance.

On the path back from the lagoons, we encountered some Tree Sparrows, hopping about feeding:

I just wish I had the time to get up to the Norfolk coast as I really do feel the need to see some more waders soon! Still a good weekend walk, some reasonable birding and were are now the proud owners of a new pair of bins, for improved spotting!