What with one thing and another (having several commissions to complete, going away for Christmas and having two fecking colds, not to mention snow, ice and general winter apathy) I haven't done much birding recently. I did
string see a Merlin flying over the A6 on my way home from not seeing the Bittern at Swithland Res last week, but that's about it.
So it was nice to get out to Rutland Water today for the first time since the middle of December. After successfully negotiating Leicestershire's new skating rink (which used to be called the A47, but is obviously no longer considered important enough to be worth wasting grit on!) I arrived at Whitwell to find the Great Northern Diver reasonably close in, and the Red-throated Diver miles away in the middle.
The Egleton reserve was absolutely heaving with punters, but I gritted my teeth and headed for Lagoon 3, where I had distant views of one of the Bitterns at the back of the lagoon. A solitary male Ruddy Duck was out in South Arm III, looking nervous, and a nice Short-eared Owl perched on a post by Lagoon 1. I got some crap record shots of the latter, which I shan't bore you with, and some blurred Kingfisher shots which weren't even worth keeping. Oh yes, and I heard a Brambling behind the visitor centre. And in the North Arm were 12 Red-crested Pochards.
Updates here will probably be even more sporadic for the next three months, as I'm working full time in the Leicestershire Museum's Collections Resources Centre (which sounds impressive but is actually an anonymous-looking unit on an industrial estate in Barrow on Soar) from next Monday until the end of March, doing stuff with dead moths and butterflies. Happy New Year!
Edit: on second thoughts I think I will bore you with the Short-eared Owl photo after all, because it's actually not bad considering the distance and the light: