Stamford U3A Birding and Nature Group 2020
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Birding and Nature – Egleton Reserve, Rutland Water, February 2020
Monday 24th Feb 2020. Egleton Reserve, Rutland Water. 10:00 am – Overnight rain, followed by continuous down-pour: so it was no surprise that only six members of the U3A group turned up at the reserve.
Big alterations were in progress at the Bird-Watching Centre, so everyone entered through the back door into the large room; where they set up their telescopes and from the viewing windows, members logged sightings of: three males and four female Smew, two Great White Egrets, one Little Egret, small groups of Goosander, and Goldeneye, two male Pintail, six male Pochard with one female, three male Shoveler, with one female, and a pair of Great Crested Grebe, showing signs of breeding display. Wigeon flocks, and a few Teal fed in the shallows.
When the rain ceased, David Needham made the decision to visit nearby Mallard Hide; and what a remarkable time the group had, as they held a “ring-side seat”, enjoying the behaviour of a pair of Stonechats, and two male Reed Buntings, feeding on, and around some old reeds. Coot and Moorhen were also in close attendance. Whilst all this was happening, a male Song Thrush was singing splendidly in the trees outside the hide. Meal time was looming; and as the members left the sight, another Song Thrush was in full voice near the bird feeders; Chaffinch, Robin, Great and Blue Tits were observed on the feeders. Finally, yet another Song Thrush was ‘belting’ out his wonderful song, from the trees in the car park: lifting the gloom of the dark skies!
Jane Phillpotts listed 38 species!
The ‘Old Buttercross’ restaurant was the destination for lunch; where three more members turned up to join us for a convivial meal, and discussion of the morning’s proceedings.
Meetings from earlier years –