Photos difficult with distance & light
I was all set for my normal Thursday early finish at work followed by a long bike ride when suddenly CORYS SHEARWATER - RUTLAND WATER flashed up on the phone. Surely not,was my thoughts like everyone else's. I then checked on Twitter to see a report by Leicestershire birder Andy Mackay he had found a Cory's in the North Arm of Rutland Water.
I waited another twenty minutes for photographic evidence to be on social media and I was off surging east towards the summer hot spot for Ospreys. The journey took around 1 hour 50 and regular updates looked positive until I got within 30 minutes saying 'out of site flying around peninsula'. Having cycled around Rutland I knew the area pretty well so I bypassed the fishing lane and headed through Hambleton to the end of the road.
A two minute walk and low & behold the Shearwater was flying straight past me towards the south arm with the the stunning Normanton Church in the background. How brilliant was this. I probably watched the bird for about two minutes before it went out of view. Knowing the direction of flight I jumped in the car to drove five minutes to a different spot overlooking the south arm.
There, in the distance, was the Cory's Shearwater sat on the middle of the expanse of water with Mute Swans. The scope views were excellent & the pale pinky yellow beak stood out. I did expect the bird to be slightly larger but it seemed the size of a large gull. After five minutes on the water the birders were then treated to some outstanding flight views. What was strange was the days weather was very calm and didn't really project any thoughts of seabirds being blown off course.
Highly satisfied I headed for home & not even a couple of slow local tractors blocking the road denied me of a very good afternoon in Leicestershire.
From checking the records it's only the third ever inland record for a Cory's Shearwater with the previous records being at Chasewater (Staffordshire) & one in flight over Regents Park London.