Spent the day at Rutland Water yesterday (Thursday) and heard my first cuckoo and saw my first speckled wood butterfly of the year. This greater spotted woodpecker was on one of the feeders near the visitor centre.
You can tell this is a male because of the red patch on the back of its head. I hope one day to see a lesser spotted woodpecker – which is a lot rarer but they have been observed at ANR.
Later on I saw a female at the same place. You can see it lacks the red patch.
While I was observing the woodpecker this young robin posed on a nearby branch. It is getting the beginnings of its red breast. So cute! I hope to see simiar in the garden soon.
Down by the water terns were doing their thing of hovering and dropping to the surface to pick up food. I was pleased to get one or two action shots. They are so much more elegant that gulls.
This little egret was foraging in the mud for tasty morsels. They have a technique of stirring up the muddy bottom to flush out prey with one foot. It looks as if this one’s foot is covered in yellow mud but in fact its feet are that colour.
Among the various young water birds were these greylag goslings.
Finally, on my walk back to the car, I heard a number of warblers but managed to get clear view of this willow warbler appropriately in a willow tree. To my eyes it is virtually identical to the chiffchaff that I have seen regularly this year. The main distinguishing feature is its melodious song so I am in no doubt of its identity – so I can chalk up another first!