Two Weeks in Focus: 15th to 28th August 2015

With a mixed bag of weather conditions and largely lower than expected temperatures the last two weeks have had more of a September feel to them. Duck numbers began to build significantly, wader passage remained strong and a couple of blasts of easterly and south-easterly winds off the continent just prior to the start of the period, and again midway through it, produced some more interesting passerine migrants.

Almost a permanent fixture, it seems, the two Ruddy Shelducks remained at Pitsford Res throughout and two Garganeys visited Stanwick GP briefly on 21st, this same site hosting three Pintails on 19th-21st, while another Pintail visited Summer Leys LNR on 24th-25th.

Ruddy Shelduck, Pitsford Res, 25th August 2015 (Alan Francis)

Ruddy Shelduck, Pitsford Res, 25th August 2015 (Alan Francis)

Ruddy Shelducks, Pitsford Res, 27th August 2015 (Douglas McFarlane)

Ruddy Shelducks, Pitsford Res, 27th August 2015 (Douglas McFarlane)

The autumn build-up of Red-crested Pochards commenced at Pitsford Res with three on 16th rising to seven there on 27th and the first of the autumn’s Great White Egrets appeared at the same site on 22nd, where it remained until 28th, being joined briefly by a second individual on 23rd. This second bird then promptly relocated to Summer Leys LNR the following day, remaining in the area until 28th. Just along the valley, the Bittern was seen again at Stanwick GP on 16th while, further east, a juvenile Black-necked Grebe was found at Thrapston GP on 25th, remaining there until at least 27th.

Marsh Harriers continued to be seen, with two ‘cream-crowns’ at Pitsford Res on 23rd, one through east at Summer Leys LNR on 27th and two juveniles at Blueberry Farm, Maidwell the following day. Ospreys were seen at four localities, including singles at Hollowell Res on 15th, 22nd and 26th with two there on 19th and three on 28th, Pitsford Res on 21st, 24th and 28th with two there on 17th, Stanford Res on 22nd and over Badby Wood on 19th.  Peregrines this week were singles at Higham Ferrers on 19th, 25th and 26th with one at nearby Ditchford GP on 22nd.

Single Golden Plovers visited Stanwick GP on 16th-17th and Harrington AF on 17th and numbers of Little Ringed Plovers were reduced to singles at Clifford Hill GP on 15th and Hollowell Res on 20th-22nd with two again at the latter site on 26th. Numbers of Ringed Plovers continued to rise with reports from Hollowell Res, Naseby Res, Pitsford Res, Clifford Hill GP, Summer Leys LNR and Stanwick GP, with a maximum of seven at the latter locality on 24th.

Ringed Plover, Pitsford Res, 15th August 2015 (Martin Swannell)

Ringed Plover, Pitsford Res, 15th August 2015 (Martin Swannell)

The only Whimbrels during the period were all singles at Pitsford Res, where one flew south on 16th and a juvenile was on the ground on 20th with another there on 22nd.

Juvenile Whimbrel, Pitsford Res, 20th August 2015 (Alan Francis)

Juvenile Whimbrel, Pitsford Res, 20th August 2015 (Alan Francis)

With the majority having passed through in late July/early August, there were also few Black-tailed Godwits to be had during the period – just four over Pitsford Res on 23rd and one at Stanwick GP on 26th.

Black-tailed Godwits, Pitsford Res, 23rd August 2015 (Douglas McFarlane)

Black-tailed Godwits, Pitsford Res, 23rd August 2015 (Douglas McFarlane)

Two Little Stints flew through at Hollowell Res on 25th and the same date saw one arrive at Stanwick GP, where it stayed until at least 27th, while single-figure counts of Dunlin came from seven localities, with a maximum of five at Stanwick GP on 26th. Ruff were found at Pitsford Res, Hollowell Res, Naseby Res, Stanwick GP, Daventry CP and Wicksteed Park Lake with a maximum count of four at Pitsford Res on 22nd, while

Juvenile Ruff, Pitsford Res, 19th August 2015 (Alan Francis)

Juvenile Ruff, Pitsford Res, 19th August 2015 (Alan Francis)

Juvenile Ruff, Wicksteed Park lake, 21st August 2015 (Alan Francis)

Juvenile Ruff, Wicksteed Park lake, 21st August 2015 (Alan Francis)

Common Sandpipers appeared to be enjoying a local migrational boom with continual records from eleven localities, including double-figure counts from Hollowell Res of twelve on 22nd, fourteen on 25th and ten on 26th. Green Sandpipers were found at eight sites, with a maximum of seven at Daventry CP on 18th-20th and single Wood Sandpipers visited Pitsford Res on 16th and 25th, Stanwick GP on 19th and nearby Ditchford GP on 22nd. Greenshank numbers fell a little as this species was recorded from only five localities – all single birds, except two at Pitsford Res on 21st and the only Redshanks

Greenshank, Summer Leys LNR, 16th August 2015 (Martin Swannell)

Greenshank, Summer Leys LNR, 16th August 2015 (Martin Swannell)

Greenshank, Summer Leys LNR, 20th August 2015 (Alan Coles)

Greenshank, Summer Leys LNR, 20th August 2015 (Alan Coles)

reported were singles at Hollowell Res between 15th and 22nd, Pitsford Res on 17th and Stanwick GP on 19th but a flock of sixteen in adverse weather conditions at Naseby Res on 27th brought with them the autumn’s second Spotted Redshank, although all had disappeared the following day. With just one Common Snipe at Stanwick GP between 16th and 19th, followed by three there on 24th, five at Summer Leys LNR on 24th-25th and one at Pitsford Res on the latter date, numbers were looking a bit wispy …

Black Terns were few and far between with one at Ditchford GP on 22nd, followed by two at Pitsford Res on 24th and one at Hollowell Res on 27th-28th. Three juvenile Little Gulls paid a brief visit to Daventry CP on 23rd while a juvenile Mediterranean Gull visited Hollowell Res on 15th, a first-winter was at Daventry CP on 27th and a juvenile/first-winter visited Pitsford Res on 28th. Daventry CP seemed set to rival Stanwick GP for Caspian Gulls during the period with an adult there on 18th followed by a juvenile on 19th and 20th. Stanwick still managed to produce two adults on 17th, an adult on 24th, an adult and a juvenile on 26th and a juvenile on 27th; a juvenile was also at Pitsford Res on 19th. Yellow-legged Gulls were widespread, mainly in small, single-figure numbers, being seen at Pitsford, Res, Hollowell Res, Stanford Res, Daventry CP, Clifford Hill GP and Stanwick GP with a maximum count of thirty-four at the latter locality on 26th.

More scarce passerines migrants were found, including two Wrynecks – one at Clifford Hill GP on 15th and the other at Harrington AF on 28th; both proved to be very short-stayers and they managed to evade the many observers who came to look for them.

Wryneck, Harrington AF, 28th August 2015 (Bob Bullock)

Wryneck, Harrington AF, 28th August 2015 (Bob Bullock)

Wryneck, Harrington AF, 28th August 2015 (Bob Bullock)

Wryneck, Harrington AF, 28th August 2015 (Bob Bullock)

They were both associated with east coast falls as were two Pied Flycatchers – the first, a juvenile, trapped at Stanford Res on 24th and the other found at Pitsford Res the following day.

Juvenile Pied Flycatcher, Stanford Res, 24th August 2015 (Mick Townsend)

Juvenile Pied Flycatcher, Stanford Res, 24th August 2015 (Mick Townsend)

Juvenile Pied Flycatcher, Stanford Res, 24th August 2015 (Mick Townsend)

Juvenile Pied Flycatcher, Stanford Res, 24th August 2015 (Mick Townsend)

Whinchats were found at seven sites, most of which held two birds but six were counted in the Brampton Valley on 25th, while Common Redstarts appeared in good numbers with ones and twos seen in six localities but threes were at Blueberry Farm on 16th and between Pitsford Res and Walgrave on 28th.

Whinchat, Clifford Hill GP, 25th August 2014 (Bob Bullock)

Whinchat, Clifford Hill GP, 25th August 2014 (Bob Bullock)

By contrast, there were few Northern Wheatears with three at Pitsford Res on 16th, singles at Harrington AF on 17th, Hollowell Res on 25th and near Blueberry Farm on 28th with two in the Brampton Valley on 25th. Eight Crossbills flew over Blueberry Farm on 16th, four were over Harrington AF the following day and three flew over Denton Wood on 23rd.

Posted in Weekly Reports | Leave a comment

Travels of a Migrant Dunlin

7th August. The day Hollowell Reservoir was ‘Dunlin-bombed’ by a record flock of around 440. Included among them was this flagged and ringed adult.

Spanish-ringed adult Dunlin, Hollowell Res, 7th August 2015 (Bob Bullock)

Spanish-ringed adult Dunlin, Hollowell Res, 7th August 2015 (Bob Bullock)

Based on the flag colour and ring combination, initial research revealed it had been trapped and ringed in Spain and this was kindly confirmed today by Edorta Unamuno, Coordinator of projects in the Urdaibai Bird Center in the Basque Country, close to Bilbao. It was trapped there as a migrant during the third week of May this year but where has it been since?

Spanish-ringed adult Dunlin, Hollowell Res, 7th August 2015 (Bob Bullock)

Spanish-ringed adult Dunlin, Hollowell Res, 7th August 2015 (Bob Bullock)

Spanish-ringed adult Dunlin, Hollowell Res, 7th August 2015 (Bob Bullock)

Spanish-ringed adult Dunlin, Hollowell Res, 7th August 2015 (Bob Bullock)

Spanish-ringed adult Dunlin, Hollowell Res, 7th August 2015 (Bob Bullock)4

Spanish-ringed adult Dunlin, Hollowell Res, 7th August 2015 (Bob Bullock)

Racial identity might give us a clue but its worn summer plumage (it has even already grown a grey winter scapular) makes it difficult to be certain as to whether it’s a schinzii or an alpina. Both races could easily occur in Spain and the UK – schinzii breeds south-east Greenland, Iceland, southern Norway, Britain, Ireland and the Baltic and alpina breeds northern Scandinavia and the USSR and both occur in winter in the western Mediterranean.

Posted in Waders | Leave a comment

Spotted Flycatchers in Northants

In decline …

It’s widely known that Spotted Flycatchers are in decline in the UK. If you’re really unlucky, it’s possible to go for an entire summer season without seeing one locally. If you’re unlucky.

Spotted Flycatcher, Polebrook AF, 22nd August 2015 (Simon Hales)

Spotted Flycatcher, Polebrook AF, 22nd August 2015 (Simon Hales)

In Northants I believed the number of localities at which this species has been occurring has been falling year on year. However, I had a quick look at the records for the past 16 years (the number of localities wasn’t flagged up in the county bird report prior to this as a result of the species’ apparent abundance) and I was surprised to find this isn’t entirely so.Capture
Apart from a ‘blip’ between 2005 and 2010 the number of sites has remained relatively stable. What’s apparent, though, is there are fewer records in recent years and the occasionally large numbers recorded in the ‘90s – e.g. 50+ at Cottesbrooke Park on 8th August 1995 and 30+ there on 10th August 1996 appear to be a thing of the past.

Juvenile Spotted Flycatcher, Polebrook AF, 22nd August 2015 (Simon Hales)

Juvenile Spotted Flycatcher, Polebrook AF, 22nd August 2015 (Simon Hales)

Juvenile and adult Spotted Flycatchers, Polebrook AF, 22nd August 2015 (Simon Hales)

Juvenile and adult Spotted Flycatchers, Polebrook AF, 22nd August 2015 (Simon Hales)

While the decline may be national the BTO have thrown up some interesting data which show a marked shift in distribution northwards and westwards, with local population increases noted in Scotland, Ireland and some parts of Wales against a marked national decline of 89% between 1967 and 2010 and a decline by 46% across Europe between 1980 and 2013. More about the distribution changes on the BTO website. Thanks to Simon Hales for images.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Week in Focus: 8th to 14th August 2015

Dry conditions with westerlies at the start of the week gave way to murky weather with heavy showers moving north from the near continent during the last two days of the period playing a significant role in the inland occurrence of waders and terns. The autumn wader passage continued unabated and more southbound passerines trickled through.

The two Ruddy Shelducks remained at Pitsford Res until at least 13th and the same site hosted three Ospreys on 10th, while two were at Hollowell Res on 8th and singles visited Welford Res on 8th and 9th, Summer Leys LNR on the latter date and Pitsford on 13th and Hollowell again on 14th. August is consistently a good month for finding Marsh Harriers, which often linger in favoured areas, and so it was that a ‘cream-crown’ was seen between Pitsford Res and Walgrave on 11th, followed by single juveniles the following day at Summer Leys LNR and Blueberry Farm (Maidwell), the latter still in the area on 13th. The only Peregrine of the week was one at Summer Leys LNR on 11th and, on 10th, a Bittern (re)appeared at Stanwick GP in exactly the same place as one had been seen on 19th July, suggesting a summering individual.

Bittern, Stanwick GP, 10th August 2015 (Steve Fisher)

Bittern, Stanwick GP, 10th August 2015 (Steve Fisher)

Wader passage was still much in evidence with the autumn’s first Golden Plovers at Harrington AF on 9th and Hollowell Res on 14th, while a Grey Plover was found at Daventry CP also on 14th and small numbers of Little Ringed Plovers included five at Hollowell Res on 8th two there on 12th and three on 14th with one at Pitsford Res on 13th.

Juvenile Little Ringed Plover, Pitsford Res, 13th August 2015 (Alan Francis)

Juvenile Little Ringed Plover, Pitsford Res, 13th August 2015 (Alan Francis)

There were more Ringed Plovers this week with two at Hollowell Res between 8th and 13th and four at Pitsford Res on 9th, increasing to eight there on 13th-14th.

Juvenile Ringed Plover, Pitsford Res, 10th August 2015 (Alan Francis)

Juvenile Ringed Plover, Pitsford Res, 10th August 2015 (Alan Francis)

Three Whimbrels visited Stanwick GP on 14th, three flew south over Harrington AF and another flew south at Hollowell Res on the same date. Two Black-tailed Godwits were at Summer Leys LNR on 8th and seven at Hollowell Res on the same day with two there again on 11th and the same site produced the week’s maximum Dunlin count with eight to ten there on 12th – although small numbers daily at Pitsford Res also included eight on 13th; singles were also at both Clifford Hill GP and Stanwick GP on 8th with twos at the same sites on 14th and one at Hollowell Res on the same date.

Adult Dunlin, Hollowell Res (Martin Swannell)

Adult Dunlin, Hollowell Res (Martin Swannell)

Juvenile Dunlin, Hollowell Res (Martin Swannell)

Juvenile Dunlin, Hollowell Res (Martin Swannell)

The 14th also produced single Sanderlings at Daventry CP and Clifford Hill GP, while a juvenile Knot appeared at Stanwick GP on the same date and a sprinkling of Ruff included up to two juveniles at Pitsford Res between 8th and 14th, one at Hollowell Res on 10th and two at Clifford Hill GP on 14th.

Juvenile Knot, Stanwick GP, 14th August 2015 (Bob Bullock)

Juvenile Knot, Stanwick GP, 14th August 2015 (Bob Bullock)

Juvenile Ruff, Pitsford Res, 12th August 2015 (Martin Swannell)

Juvenile Ruff, Pitsford Res, 12th August 2015 (Martin Swannell)

Common Sandpipers were reported only from Daventry CP, Clifford Hill GP, Stanwick GP, Ravensthorpe Res and Pitsford Res with a maximum of three at the latter site on 9th, while Green Sandpipers were found at seven sites, with a maximum of six at Daventry CP on 14th. Greenshank numbers picked up with one at Clifford Hill GP on 9th, up to two at Pitsford Res between 9th and 12th and twos at Ravensthorpe Res and Summer Leys

Greenshank, Summer Leys LNR, 14th August 2015 (Bob Bullock)

Greenshank, Summer Leys LNR, 14th August 2015 (Bob Bullock)

LNR on 14th and the only Redshanks reported were at Hollowell Res with two on 8th and 13th and one on 11th, the same site along with Summer Leys hosting the week’s only Common Snipe.

Common Snipe, Summer Leys LNR, August 2015 (Martin Swannell)

Common Snipe, Summer Leys LNR, August 2015 (Martin Swannell)

The murky conditions and heavy rain on 13th brought two Black Terns to Stanwick GP with thirteen later in the day at Pitsford Res, two at Daventry CP the following day, when two also visited Hollowell Res and two more were at Stanwick GP. The same conditions produced two Little Terns at Clifford Hill GP on 14th, while a juvenile Arctic Tern paid a brief visit to Stanwick GP on 11th, two juveniles accompanied the Black Terns at Pitsford Res on 13th and another juvenile was found at the same location the following day. More juvenile Mediterranean Gulls this week included singles at Clifford Hill GP on 8th, Pitsford Res on 9th, 10th and 12th and at Hollowell Res on 11th. Up to two adults and a near-adult Caspian Gulls were at Stanwick GP between 8th and 12th, while up to two Yellow-legged Gulls lingered at Hollowell Res  and Pitsford Res, one was at Thrapston GP on 11th and six were at Summer Leys LNR the following day.

Scarce passerine migrants this week included two Whinchats at Blueberry Farm on 12th and a further two at Harrington AF on 14th, when the same site also produced a Common Redstart, a Northern Wheatear and two overflying Crossbills. Another Northern Wheatear was also seen at Broadholme STW on 13th.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Week in Focus: 1st to 7th August 2015

A fine, dry start to the week saw, for the first time, almost nothing reportable at the weekend, although the early autumn ‘clearout’ of Common Swifts was evidently well under way with hundreds, if not thousands, reported streaming south over the county, taking advantage of the clear skies and sunshine throughout the initial two-day period. Wader passage increased in diversity and the focus shifted away from the Nene Valley and more toward the county’s reservoirs.

Pitsford’s two Ruddy Shelducks were still present to at least 5th, albeit they were mobile about the reservoir, and a Garganey appeared at Stanwick GP on 3rd. Flyover Ospreys were seen at Blatherwycke Lake on 2nd and at Pitsford Res on 3rd and 4th and Peregrines were at Higham Ferrers on 1st, Staverton on 4th and Hanging Houghton the next day.

Early autumn wader passage ramped up this week, commencing with the appearance of a Turnstone at Pitsford Res on 3rd, while Little Ringed Plover numbers remained low with four at Hollowell Res on 2nd-4th, five there on 7th and one at Clifford Hill GP on 3rd.

Adult Turnstone, Pitsford Res, 3rd August 2015 (Alan Francis)

Adult Turnstone, Pitsford Res, 3rd August 2015 (Alan Francis)

Two Ringed Plovers were also at Hollowell Res on 2nd and 7th and singles were found at Clifford Hill GP and Pitsford Res on 3rd and 5th-7th respectively. After last month’s large numbers, just one Black-tailed Godwit put in an appearance this week, at Hollowell Res on 5th, but Dunlin more than made up for this with an astonishing flock estimated to be in the region of four hundred and forty arriving there during the afternoon of 7th – putting the 1970s Pitsford wintering flocks of two hundred or so firmly in the shade; prior to this there had been nine on 2nd, dwindling to just one there two days later.

Dunlins, Hollowell Res, 7th August 2015 (Bob Bullock). Part of a 440-strong flock present briefly at this location.

Dunlins, Hollowell Res, 7th August 2015 (Bob Bullock). Part of a 440-strong flock present briefly at this location.

Dunlins, Hollowell Res, 7th August 2015 (Bob Bullock). Part of a 440-strong flock present briefly at this location.

Dunlins, Hollowell Res, 7th August 2015 (Bob Bullock). Part of a 440-strong flock present briefly at this location.

Dunlins, Hollowell Res, 7th August 2015 (Bob Bullock). Part of a 440-strong flock present briefly at this location.

Dunlins, Hollowell Res, 7th August 2015 (Bob Bullock). Part of a 440-strong flock present briefly at this location.

Adult Dunlin, ringed and flagged, Hollowell Res, 7th August 2015 (Bob Bullock)

Adult Dunlin, ringed and flagged, Hollowell Res, 7th August 2015 (Bob Bullock)

Five Little Stints together at Clifford Hill GP on 3rd were unusually early while Common Sandpipers were reported from Stanwick GP, Daventry CP, Hollowell Res and Pitsford Res, with a maximum of 4 at the latter site on 4th.

Common Sandpiper, Pitsford Res, 5th August 2015 (Alan Francis)

Common Sandpiper, Pitsford Res, 5th August 2015 (Alan Francis)

The same four localities also held small numbers of Green Sandpipers, peaking at eight at Daventry CP. Another scarce wader in the county in recent times is Spotted Redshank, one of which appeared at Pitsford Res on 6th. The days when double-figure counts of this species were made late into the autumn at this site are now just a distant memory.

Spotted Redshank, Pitsford Res, 6th August 2015 (Bob Bullock)

Spotted Redshank, Pitsford Res, 6th August 2015 (Bob Bullock)

No so with Greenshank, although singles at Pitsford Res on 2nd and 4th – 2 there on 7th – and Daventry CP on 5th constitute unusually slim pickings at this time of the year, as did the week’s few Common Snipe with one at Summer Leys LNR on 6th, five at Hollowell Res on the same date and one there the following day.

‘Summer gulling’ at Stanwick GP produced a juvenile Mediterranean Gull on 3rd, and three juveniles were at Clifford Hill GP on 7th. Stanwick also held a third-summer Caspian Gull on 3rd, followed by an adult two days later plus three adults on 7th, while an adult visited Daventry CP briefly also on 7th. Stanwick also produced 45+ Yellow-legged Gulls on the same date and singles visited Hollowell Res on 2nd, Pitsford Res on 5th and Clifford Hill GP on 7th while seven were at Daventry CP on 6th, with two there on 7th, when eight were at Pitsford Res.

Scarce passerine migrants were at a low ebb with single Common Redstarts at Harrington AF on 1st and near Pitsford Res the following day plus six Crossbills at Staverton on 4th.

Posted in Weekly Reports | Leave a comment

The Week in Focus: 25th to 31st July 2015

Temperatures below the seasonal norm, low pressure systems scudding across the Atlantic and winds from every direction, except the east, combined with sometimes heavy showers to produce, well, pretty much nothing new this week.

Pitsford’s two Ruddy Shelducks remained settled north of the causeway all week but no other ducks of note were reported during the period. Last week’s excitement caused by the discovery of the adult Night Heron at Ditchford GP was rapidly curtailed as the bird disappeared on the evening of 25th immediately after giving its best performance during its four-day stay. Vigils tense with anticipation on the subsequent two evenings drew a blank, although it would not be unreasonable to expect it still to be somewhere in the area. Just one Osprey was seen this week, in flight near Pitsford Res on 29th.

Adult Night Heron, Ditchford GP, 25th July 2015 (Jim Dunkley)

Adult Night Heron, Ditchford GP, 25th July 2015 (Jim Dunkley)

Following on from the four Avocets at Clifford Hill GP on 19th, a further individual was an early morning find on the scrape at Summer Leys LNR on 26th but it quickly moved east, being seen for just ten minutes at Ditchford GP’s Irthlingborough Lakes & Meadows reserve before again departing east toward Stanwick GP. There were few Little Ringed Plovers in evidence in comparison to previous weeks with singles at Summer Leys on 25th and 28th and Pitsford Res on 27th and two at Stanwick GP on 28th, where there were also two Ringed Plovers on the same date, followed by three there the next day. A Sanderling at Hollowell Res on 25th was one of a small number of inland records around this date, while a trickle of Dunlins included singles at Stanwick GP on 28th, 29th and 31st and two at Summer Leys on 28th.  Two Curlews visited Stanwick on 31st along with the only Green Sandpiper of the week, while two Common Sandpipers were there on 28th-29th with up to two at Pitsford Res between 25th and 27th and one at Summer Leys on 26th. The only Redshanks were two at Earls Barton GP on 25th-26th.

Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, Stanwick GP, 30th July 2015 (Steve Fisher)

Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, Stanwick GP, 30th July 2015 (Steve Fisher)

Adult Caspian Gull, Stanwick GP, 26th Jul (Steve Fisher)

Adult Caspian Gull, Stanwick GP, 26th Jul (Steve Fisher)

Apart from single adult Yellow-legged Gulls at Ditchford GP on 26th and Thrapston GP on 27th, Stanwick GP continued to hold the lion’s share – including the summer’s first juveniles – with double-figure counts peaking at seventy-seven on 30th. The same site also continued to host two Caspian Gulls – an adult and a third-summer – all week. Some of the first autumn migrant passerines were in evidence during the period with Blueberry Farm holding four Whinchats on 25th and nearby Harrington AF producing a Northern Wheatear on 31st. It’s almost August …

Posted in Weekly Reports | Leave a comment

Quark, strangeness and charm

The Ditchford Night Heron

Ditchford’s recently discovered adult Night Heron – Northamptonshire’s tenth – is continuing to draw the local crowds with around 30 birders enjoying the best views yet of this bird last night. It’s still not the easiest of Night Herons to see as Jim Dunkley’s image below demonstrates.

Adult Night Heron, Ditchford GP, 25th July 2015 (Jim Dunkley)

Adult Night Heron, Ditchford GP, 25th July 2015 (Jim Dunkley)

Last night it was very vocal, calling for some 10 minutes from willows by the Bailey bridge before flying off toward Wilson’s Pit at around 22.00. An excellent sound recording made by Adrian Borley is here. For anyone still to make the trip there, it’s around 15 minutes’ walk along the Nene Way footpath from Ditchford Lane. Park near the entrance to Broadholme Sewage Works SP930684 (do not obstruct the entrance as it is in constant use by HGVs), walk east for c.1200 m to the Bailey bridge SP944686 and view from this area. It normally appears any time between 20.15 and 21.45.

Posted in Storks, Herons and allies | Leave a comment