4th June 2021
It was rather a dull day to be walking down to the hide. Clouds were covering the sun as I made my way down to the hide. We had briefly met Abi in the visitors centre and she had given us a quick briefing on what had been happening. It hadn’t been very busy so far, so we were set to have a nice and peaceful afternoon.
On the way down we did not see much at all but we heard quite a lot, including Chiffchaff and a beautiful Blackcap. The only other birds we really heard were the greylag geese and lord, were they making a racket! We also only saw people coming back from the hide when we were walking down so we were expecting very little interaction with others that afternoon. When we eventually got to the hide, we received news that a cuckoo had been heard singing across the other side of the bay. We were amazed as the last time we heard a cuckoo at Rutland water ourselves was about 3 years ago!
About 30 mins into our shift, an Osprey Ambassador called Ethan showed up to help us keep track of the Ospreys. Just as he had settled down we heard the amazing song of a cuckoo get blown over from the opposite bank. It was awesome, everyone in the hide went silent and you could hear it beautifully.
We also had brilliant views of a singing reed bunting about 2 hours into the shift. He was sat in the top of a bush about 10M away from the hide! It is a favourite perch spot though as it is significantly higher up than the reeds, meaning his song can carry further. There were also lots of Sege Warblers but they were in amongst the reeds and you couldn’t see them.
Nothing much happened between the reed buntings and the end of our shift and we were starting to worry as our list was 2 short of 40 species for the day. That was until we started walking back. As we made our way out the back of the hide and locked up, a magnificent Barn owl flew straight over our heads! It flew in the direction of a known nest box, carrying what looked like a small mammal of some kind. We were later told that it was an active nest site so we were awestruck by that encounter.
Then not 5 minutes after we saw a Peregrine Falcon! That was the highlight of the day for me. It was swooping around fairly high up and I am surprised I noticed it at first! Sadly it didn’t stick around for long though as it flew out over the reservoir and disappeared.
All in all it was a quite but delightful shift, not too quiet, but not too busy either.