Alright me duck


I was born in Leicester! It's my home town in a way even though I have few connections now. I support the mighty Foxes Leicester City, one of my first records was Showaddywaddy and I've sat in Danial Lambert's Chair not to mention going up Old John a fare few times. With that in mind I happened to be passing Rutland Water NT. It's one of the big boys in the Nature Reserve world. I had to pop in. Now a few of you will be saying "But Rutland Water is in the county of Rutland and not Leicestershire". This is true however it was for a short period amalgamated into Leicestershire and it's close enough.

With that controversial bombshell in mind I parked up, payed my dues and began. I had high hopes. It started well with a nice Great White Egret flyby.

There are a lot of very well made and well placed hides all over the place. I spent the day dobbing in and out pretty much all of them. This one had a Kestrel on it!

Unfortunately due to the time of year that was pretty much it. The only thing I saw of note was a nice flock of Golden Plovers nervously trying to find a feeding patch.

This Heron did manage to amuse me with a nice flyby. The light was very flat so most of my pics are pretty poor!

What no Ospreys??

I had a chat with a few people around including two guys from Coalville who all told of interesting stuff like Marsh Harriers and Bitterns which all just passed through so were well gone just like the Ospreys.

Who needs fishing Ospreys when you have a Coot!

This Hide looked amazing when I walked in. I had to take a snap
You can see more non birding snaps over on our other blog manualfocusuk.com

The sun did come out for a bit and these three Mute Swans were the only entertainment

Egyptian Goose

That Great White Egret again

Birds were getting a bit thin on the ground so..........

At last something interesting. An upside down Greater Spotted Woodpecker

So after all that there was precious little to see. The sightings list did mention a Smew but no one else saw it that day. Don't get me wrong this is a fantastic reserve. I'm definitely coming back another time when it starts getting interesting again.

Part two: These are not the birds you are looking for.

Later in the week I had to pass through Lincolnshire along the A15. Unbeknownst to me I drove right passed RAF Scampton, home to the Red Arrows. (Thanks Robin M for the confirmation) Blow me if they weren't having a bit of a practice right over me. I spent about half an hour in a lay bye with arctics roaring passed snapping the Arrows as they flew right down the A15. It was brilliant

Here they come!


Flying behind their own smoke trail as they did a complete circle of white

And so back to the mess for lashings of ginger beer and crumpets

Ten minutes later I texted Robin, who knows this stuff, "I'm standing next to XM607". They reply was "A Vulcan and your at RAF Waddington". Damn he's good. They were relaying the runway so not a lot was happening. Three AWACS's were sitting ominously far off by the hangers.

What a great and unexpected opportunity to bag me a few Red Arrows. Amazing stuff!

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