Saturday, March 27, 2010


As a birdwatcher it was a difficult decision not to bring my binoculars or a bird book on this trip. Luggage weight was one consideration but, also, I wanted to concentrate on history and photography this trip. So the birds I've seen remain unidentified. But yesterday we went to a railway museum near Oakham and one of the volunteers there, obviously a birdwatcher, told us we couldn't leave the area without checking out Rutland Water.

So we went to Rutland Water. It's well known in the birdwatching world, and we were there on a weekday but there were quite a few cars in the carpark. The birdhide/information centre is excellent and there was a telescope set up for casual visitors to use. If I'd wanted to explore other areas of the wetland I would have had to pay a fee.

The information boards included interesting sitings as well as progress reports on the nesting Ospeys, the success story of the wetland.

New wetland areas are being developed and a public art installation, made of recycled shopping trolleys, commemorates the opening of one area by David Attenborough.

I'm not convinced about the ethics of this installation. The feeding posts are just outside the info centre and were attracting a lot of little birds - until a helicopter flew over. A bird hide has been set up several metres away so it's easy to observe the birds.

If ever I get back to the UK I'll take binoculars and Rutland Water will be high on my list of places to visit.

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