Rarity Round-up, 12th to 18th October 2019

The weather remained largely unsettled, with heavy rain and sporadic showers, backed by blustery south to south-westerly winds during the early part of the week. The period’s highlight was a Yellow-browed Warbler, trapped and ringed … where else other than at Stanford Reservoir.

Last week’s adult Whooper Swan was present all week at Thrapston GP, where hopefully it will remain for the winter. Also remaining – though highly mobile – was at least one Ruddy Shelduck, a female having been seen at Foxholes Fisheries (Crick) on 12th and it seems likely this was the same individual seen briefly at Stanford Res later the same day and again at Ravensthorpe Res on 18th.

Female Ruddy Shelduck, Foxholes Fisheries, Crick, 12th October 2019 (Joan Chaplin)

A juvenile drake Red-crested Pochard visited Clifford Hill GP on 12th and two were present there on 15th but it was Pitsford Res which produced the best diving ducks this week, with a juvenile Greater Scaup on 13th followed by five Common Scoters two days later, on 15th. Unfortunately, this was the best we could manage during a week when, just over the county boundary in Leicestershire, Rutland Water pulled in a fine drake Lesser Scaup. Spitting distance from Northants, again, as we remain the only Midlands county to have missed out on adding this species to our list. One day, maybe, one day …

Common Scoters, Pitsford Res, 15th October 2019 (Mike Alibone)

Up to six Cattle Egrets remained at Stanwick throughout, as did up to two Great Egrets with more of the latter including singles at Ditchford GP, Thrapston and Summer Leys, Two at Pitsford and three at Stanford. On 17th, Stanford also produced a Marsh Harrier, which drifted away toward the reservoir’s namesake, Stanford on Avon, in the latter half of the morning.

Great Egret, Stanwick GP, 17th October 2019 (Steve Fisher)

Wader-wise, it was again slim pickings, which consisted of a late Whimbrel flying west over Grafton Regis on 15th and a Ruff at Stanwick the following day, on 16th.

With most of them long gone, any report of a Common Sandpiper at this time of the year is guaranteed to quicken the pulse. How well was it seen? Spotted Sandpiper ruled out? So, the chances of the late example of the aforementioned Common, which turned up on the dam at Pitsford on 17th, being one of the latter surely had to be higher than normal. But no such luck. Well, this is Northamptonshire, don’t forget and, just like Lesser Scaup, we’re still owed one – big time!

And so to gulls, with Mediterranean Gull topping the bill and kicking off with a first-winter on land cleared for housing at Upton Park (Northampton) on 12th and an adult in the roost at Boddington Res on the same date, plus a second-winter there on 18th. The roost off the sailing club at Pitsford then produced an adult and a second-winter on 13th, a second-winter on 16th, an adult again on 17th and an adult plus a first-winter on 18th, while the maximum counts of Yellow-legged Gulls were nine in the roost at Pitsford on 16th and six at Boddington on 12th and 18th. Surprisingly, last week’s juvenile Arctic Tern lingered, still being at Hollowell Res on 16th.

Thanks to the IOC, ‘new order’ raptors appeared in the shape of a Merlin or two – at Harrington AF on 16th and 18th.

Once again, those hallowed nets of the Stanford Ringing Group delivered Northamptonshire’s fourteenth Yellow-browed Warbler on 12th. With more than four hundred on the east coast during the past week (and six hundred the week before that) it came as no real surprise – especially when the group’s track record is taken into consideration.

Yellow-browed Warbler, Stanford Res, 12th October 2019 (Chris Hubbard)

With Northern Willow Warbler, Siberian Chiffchaff, Dusky Warbler, Marsh Warbler, Icterine Warbler and Siberian Lesser Whitethroat all ‘back of the net’ in recent years, the group is almost duty-bound to trap the obligatory Yellow-browed every year. This one is their fifth (including one at nearby Naseby Res) in addition to one which managed to avoid the nets altogether in October 2016!

Ring Ouzel, Stanford Res, 14th October 2019 (Chris Hubbard)

Ring Ouzel, Stanford Res, 14th October 2019 (Steve Nichols)

Also at Stanford, a Ring Ouzel was discovered near the dam on 15th, remaining there until the next day, when one was also found in a Spratton garden.

Male Stonechat, Brampton Valley, 12th October 2019 (Angus Molyneux)

Stonechat numbers dwindled to ones and twos at Stanford Res, Harrington AF and in the Brampton Valley, while what seems highly likely to be the last Northern Wheatear was the bird lingering on the dam at Pitsford Res from last week until 15th.

Posted in Weekly Reports | Leave a comment

Rarity Round-up, 5th-11th October 2019

An unsettled week with a strong, predominantly westerly airflow saw a couple of potentially weather-related arrivals in the respective shapes of Dark-bellied Brent Goose and Gannet, amid more winter thrushes and the autumn’s first Bramblings.

At least some reward for a seemingly endless succession of early morning visits by one observer to Stanwick GP appeared in the form of a Dark-bellied Brent Goose on the Main Lake there, albeit briefly, on 6th. Further down the valley, at Thrapston GP, there was speculation that the adult Whooper Swan there on 7th-8th was last winter’s ‘ugly duckling’ all grown up and back for the winter. Let’s see if it stays. Meanwhile, in the north of the county, the roving Ruddy Shelducks were still making sporadic appearances – the drake at Stanford Res on 8th and the female returning to Hollowell Res on 10th.

Drake Ruddy Shelduck, Stanford Res, 8th October 2019 (Chris Hubbard)

Up to six Cattle Egrets remained at Stanwick until at least 10th, the same site being visited by a Great Egret on 5th and again on 10th. Great Egrets were also at Ditchford GP on 5th, Stanford on 6th and 8th, Thrapston on 6th-7th, Pitsford Res on 7th and 9th and Summer Leys LNR on 9th-10th. Two were also at the latter locality on 5th and 7th and at Pitsford on 5th and 6th, while three visited Stanford on 11th.

It would have been surprising if we hadn’t had at least one seabird in the county over the past couple of weeks, so the juvenile Gannet found grounded at Gretton Weir on 8th was not entirely unexpected, even if the locality in which it occurred was. Discovered shortly before midday, it had disappeared when the observer returned later in the day. September is the peak month in Northants but early October has also produced numerous records.

Juvenile Gannet, Gretton, 8th October 2019 (Harriet Crawford)

And by the time we hit October it’s usually all over for the waders – this year so far proving to be no exception. A Ruff at Stanwick on 6th and the two Greenshanks remaining at Pitsford until the same date constituted this week’s meagre tally.

Conversely, Mediterranean Gull was well represented by a mix of ages, primarily at the Pitsford gull roost, where two first-winters and a second-winter were present on 5th, single second-winters on 6th and 8th, an adult and three first-winters on 7th and an adult on 10th. Elsewhere, a first-winter was at Panattoni Park (Northampton) on 7th and the gull roost at Boddington Res produced an adult on 10th, as well as an adult hybrid Mediterranean Gull x Black-headed Gull on 8th.

Mediterranean Gull x Black-headed Gull, Boddington Res, 8th October 2019 (Gary Pullan)

Hollowell Res produced the only Caspian Gull of the week, a first-winter on 10th, while the maximum count of Yellow-legged Gulls was ten in the roost at Pitsford on 5th and single-figure counts came from Boddington and Hollowell. A juvenile Arctic Tern, typically late, was found at the latter locality on 10th.

Passerine migrants were unsurprisingly on the wane this week although, in the wake of hundreds of recent east coast records, a Yellow-browed Warbler was reported in flight in a Duston (Northampton) garden on 7th. Common Redstarts hung on with one in the Brampton Valley below Hanging Houghton on 5th, while Stonechats were seen in ones

Northern Wheatear, Pitsford Res, 8th October 2019 (Mike Alibone)

Northern Wheatear, Pitsford Res, 10th October 2019 (Martin Swannell)

and twos at Brampton Valley, Harrington AF, Panattoni Park and Pitsford, although four were at Hollowell on 10th. Northern Wheatears were still represented by singles at Panattoni Park on 5th-6th, Harrington on 6th and Pitsford from 6th to 10th.

Posted in Weekly Reports | Leave a comment

Pitsford Pied Wagtail: seeing things in black and white

When Matthew Care posted two tweets containing mobile phone images of a Pied Wagtail on Pitsford dam showing, as he put it, ‘isolated black breast and white wing patch’, it appeared, at least in some quarters, that there were enough ingredients there to alert local birders to the possibility that it might be something worth investigating.

Amur Wagtail was flagged up as a possibility. However remote this may seem, this south-east Asian subspecies has already reached Britain (see here) and the classic eastern vagrant month of October would surely be a prime time to find one.

The images, taken only with a mobile phone camera, left a lot to be desired from an ID perspective, as well as leaving a lot to the imagination, thus telling only half the story. The bird depicted in the images, despite also looking unusually ‘white-faced’ (the origin of the scientific name leucopsis for the Amur race of White Wagtail) was surely just a Pied Wagtail, wasn’t it? It is well known that pictures can lie and it had to be worth a look, to be sure, to be sure.

The bird was in the same place, on the wall of the valve tower walkway, when I arrived late afternoon and after a quick look, I set up my camera to get some digiscoped shots. Unfortunately, at the same time, an Anglian Water engineer proceeded down the walkway and entered the tower. The bird quickly took flight and I was left with the rather messy images, below.

While the bird did indeed show a lot of white in the wing (formed by unusually broad white fringes to median coverts, greater coverts and tertials – probably freshly moulted and unworn) and an isolated, triangular black breast patch, it was the latter which lent the impression of a greater extent of white to the head. Although there are published images (see here for example) of Amur Wagtail showing the same amount of white in the wing as this bird appears to, the ‘norm’ for Amur Wagtail is more of an extensive white ‘block’ which, when combined with clean white flanks, gives this race a much cleaner, more striking appearance than the bird at Pitsford. Indeed it’s the extensive grey and blackish flanks of the Pitsford individual which, at a glance, kill the chances of it being anything other than the Pied it actually is.

However, there is nothing wrong with flagging up anything which, at first sight, appears unusual – lest something juicy should slip the net …

Posted in Wagtails and Pipits | Leave a comment

Rarity Round-up, 28th September to 4th October 2019

At the beginning of the period, things augured well for the end of the week, as ex-Hurricane Lorenzo looked set to deposit a scattering of inland seabirds. Unfortunately, by the time it reached the UK, it was full out of puff and brought only disappointment. As soon as September clicked into October, however, day one of the ‘magic month’ produced the first local Redwings of the autumn. Apart from that, Slavonian Grebe, Spoonbill and Spotted Redshank stole the show.

Another autumn ‘first’ appeared in the shape of six Pink-footed Geese over the Brampton Valley on 4th and Ruddy Shelducks were seen at Stanford Res and Pitsford Res on 28th and 29th respectively. A Garganey appeared briefly at Summer Leys LNR on 3rd and further up the valley, a drake Red-crested Pochard was on show at Clifford Hill GP from 28th to 2nd.

Drake Red-crested Pochard, Clifford Hill GP, 30th September 2019 (Bob Bullock)

The two Slavonian Grebes – believed to be just ‘one-day’ birds at Clifford Hill on 16th – were seen there again from 28th until 30th, with only one present on 3rd. Surprisingly easy to overlook, clearly they had been there all the time throughout the intervening period. In a bizarre turn of events, one was picked up dead below a Peregrine roost site in Kettering on 3rd, leading to speculation that it may have been from Clifford Hill.

Slavonian Grebe, found dead, Kettering 3rd October 2019 (Bob Bullock)

A Spoonbill – only the third for the county this year – flew high north over Stanford Res on 28th, while on the Cattle Egret trail, the Stanwick six were seen on 2nd and 4th. Single Great Egrets were seen, on and off, at Pitsford, Summer Leys and Thrapston GP throughout the week.

Raptors at large this week were Ospreys at Thrapston GP on 30th and 2nd and a Marsh Harrier in the Brampton Valley on 29th.

Last week’s juvenile Little Stint remained at Boddington Res until 1st, while the fifth Spotted Redshank of the autumn was discovered at Ditchford GP’s Irthlingborough Lakes & Meadows on 3rd, remaining there the following morning before quickly relocating to nearby Stanwick. Pitsford was again the favoured locality for Greenshanks, with two still on the dam on 29th, at least one of which remained until 4th.

Greenshank, Pitsford Res, 29th September 2019 (Mike Alibone)

A first-winter Little Gull flew through Boddington Res on 4th, a second-winter Mediterranean Gull was again at Pitsford on 29th and single-figure numbers of Yellow-legged Gulls were also at this locality, Thrapston, and Stanwick, with the maximum count of four at the latter site on 4th.

The first Short-eared Owl of the autumn-winter period was found at Harrington AF on 30th and what is almost certainly the last ‘Common’ Swift was seen flying north over Corby on 2nd. Interestingly, however, the observer did not identify it to species and so it should really be relegated to swift sp., as October is normally the month of the year reserved exclusively for those seriously rare Apus boys … Although the last Hobbies are now passing through, another master of the skies was present at Harrington AF on 3rd, when the third Merlin of the autumn was watched chasing Meadow Pipits there.

Harrington was also the venue for what may well turn out to be the last Common Redstart of the year, with one there on 30th. Two were also present at Borough Hill on 28th. Significantly more Whinchats coming through compared to last week included up to two at Clifford Hill and Borough Hill between 28th and 30th and the same number in the Brampton Valley below Hanging Houghton between 29th and 4th.

Whinchat, Clifford Hill GP, 30th September 2019 (Mike Alibone)

Stonechats continued to arrive in numbers, with Brampton Valley, Clifford Hill, Harrington, Neville’s Lodge (Finedon), Pitsford Res and Stanford Res producing up to two and Borough Hill between eight and ten on 30th. Northern Wheatears were down to singles at both Borough Hill and Clifford Hill on 28th and Pitsford Res on 4th.

Northern Wheatear, Pitsford Res, 4th October 2019 (Richard How)

Following last week’s Rock Pipit at Daventry CP, one was at Pitsford on 30th and another at Stanwick on 4th and to round off, fifteen Crossbills flew north-west over Borough Hill on 30th.

Posted in Uncategorized, Weekly Reports | Leave a comment

Rarity Round-up, September 21st-27th 2019

South-easterlies, warm continental air and sunshine at the very beginning of the period quickly gave way to the more usual Atlantic low pressure systems, a westerly airflow and periods of gusty wind and rain throughout the week. Migrant passerine numbers dwindled, while bird of the week was undoubtedly the juvenile Little Stint, which graced Boddington Reservoir for the last three days of the period.

Wildfowl were thin on the water this week, with the drake Ruddy Shelduck again at Stanford Res on 22nd-23rd and the female being seen at Pitsford Res on 22nd and 27th, while a Common Scoter was reported from Summer Leys LNR on 24th.

Drake Ruddy Shelduck, Stanford Res, 22nd September 2019 (Steve Nichols)

As far as Cattle Egrets were concerned, the Stanwick six were seen only on 21st and four localities – Pitsford Res, Stanford Res, Summer Leys and Thrapston GP – enjoyed the presence of single Great Egrets at one time or another, although Pitsford produced two on 22nd.  The only raptors were two Marsh Harriers – one flying north over Hartwell on 21st and one south at Thrapston GP on 24th.

But the week’s highlight was a juvenile Little Stint at Boddington Res from 25th to 27th. This is only the second in the county this year, which is a far cry from the days when this species was a guaranteed annual passage migrant.

Juvenile Little Stint, Boddington Res, 25th September 2019 (Mike Pollard)

Also at Boddington during this period was a juvenile Ruff, on 26th – another wader exhibiting dwindling numbers in recent years. The only Greenshanks to be found were at Pitsford, where two favoured the dam throughout the week.

Greenshank, Pitsford Res, 22nd September 2019 (Mike Alibone)

On the larid front, Pitsford’s gull roost also produced all of this week’s Mediterranean Gulls, which included a first-winter on 22nd and a second-winter on 23rd, 26th and 27th, while reports of Yellow-legged Gulls fell to just five, which included two at Stanwick GP on 21st, an adult at Pitsford and four at Hollowell Res on 22nd with an adult at the latter site on 23rd and a juvenile at Boddington Res on 26th.

Adult Yellow-legged Gull, Pitsford Res, 22nd September 2019 (Mike Alibone)

And so to passerines and just when you thought there could surely be no more Pied Flycatchers up popped two more, both of which were found at Yardley Chase on 26th, bringing this autumn’s total up to a whopping ten!

Pied Flycatcher, Yardley Chase, 26th September 2019 (Bob Bullock)

Considerably less sought-after but always guaranteed to brighten any birding day, Common Redstarts also kept coming, with singles in the Brampton Valley on 21st and at Little Irchester on 22nd and two at Harrington AF on 25th.

Whinchat, Sywell CP, 24th September 2019 (Alan Francis)

Just two Whinchats included one in the Brampton Valley on 21st and one at Sywell CP on 24th but more migrant Stonechats included one at Hollowell on 22nd-23rd and up to three at Stanford between 22nd and 27th and the week’s only Northern Wheatear was also at Hollowell Res on 21st.

Male Stonechat, Borough Hill, 21st September 2019 (Linda Honeybourne)

The first Rock Pipit of the autumn was found at Daventry CP on 24th. Hopefully there will be more of these to come over the next couple of weeks.

Posted in Weekly Reports | Leave a comment

Rarity Round-up, 7th-20th September 2019

If a week is a long time in politics then two weeks is an even longer time – not just double – when it comes to autumn birding. For the major part of the duration, the weather was dry and temperatures were unseasonally high, hitting the mid-twenties. Winds were largely westerly, alternating between the addition of northerly and southerly components, before swinging a decisive south-easterly at the end of the period. While wader numbers tailed off, passerine migrants maintained their prominence at a number of favoured localities.

In terms of species, there was no change to the wildfowl line-up but some local movements saw Hollowell’s long-staying female Ruddy Shelduck up and go on 14th, only to pitch down again a little further north, at Stanford Res, where it remained until at least 18th. Curiously, during this time it was joined there by a male on 16th-17th. Two Garganeys paid a brief visit to Thrapston GP on 14th, another was on the scrape at Summer Leys on 20th, while Thrapston hosted up to three Red-crested Pochards between 10th and 16th and another Red-crested Pochard visited Clifford Hill GP between 15th and 18th.

Numbers of Cattle Egrets at Stanwick GP ranged between one on 9th and six on 19th, while up to two Great Egrets were at both Summer Leys LNR and Pitsford Res throughout and one was seen at Ravensthorpe Res on 17th.

Great Egret, Summer Leys LNR, 13th September 2019 (Alan Coles)

Slavonian Grebe, Clifford Hill GP, 16th September 2019 (Adrian Borley)

On 16th, two Slavonian Grebes were found at Clifford Hill GP in a rare, short-lived period of overcast and drizzly conditions. In keeping with their congener’s one-day appearances so far this autumn they had gone by the following day.
On the raptor front, a Marsh Harrier was in the Brampton Valley on 11th and the number of Ospreys fell to just two – one at Ravensthorpe Res on 7th and the other over Foxholes Fisheries, Crick on 11th, the latter date also producing a male Merlin at Easton-on-the-Hill.

Wader numbers dwindled during the period to a single Ruff at Stanwick between 9th and 11th and Greenshanks at four localities, which included up to three at Hollowell Res between 7th and 14th, two at Pitsford on 7th with one there on 13th, up to two at Boddington Res between 8th and 11th and one at Summer Leys from 9th to 13th.

Greenshank, Summer Leys LNR, 8th September 2019 (Martin Swannell)

Greenshank, Pitsford Res, 16th September 2019 (Alan Francis)

A juvenile Black Tern at Boddington was the only one of its kind during the period and the same site produced a second-winter Mediterranean Gull on 17th, while single first-winters dropped into Daventry CP on 9th and 17th. Daventry also produced a juvenile Caspian Gull on 16th and an adult visited Hollowell on 7th. Yellow-legged Gulls were found at eight sites with maximum counts of ten-plus at Stanwick on 9th and 8 at Thrapston on 14th.

Northamptonshire has enjoyed a great autumn for passerine migrants and again there was no shortage during the review period. It’s been a real ‘Pied Flycatcher autumn’ and they just keep coming, although all of this period’s remained elusive. One was found at Borough Hill on 7th before promptly vanishing and it, or another, (re)appeared there in exactly the same place, three days later, on 10th. Another at Naseby Res, on 12th, also disappeared within minutes of being found.

Common Redstarts maintained a presence with five at Borough Hill on 7th being the maximum site tally. Elsewhere, singles were at Twywell on 8th, Harrington AF on 10th, 13th 18th and 19th (the latter trapped and ringed), two were at Stanford Res on 14th with one there on 17th and two were at Hockerhill  Farm, Wilby – also on 17th.

Whinchats were also still very much in evidence, with up to three at Borough Hill on 7th-8th, up to three in the Brampton Valley between 8th and 17th, two at Neville’s Lodge, Finedon and two at Ditchford GP’s IL&M on 7th, up to two at Harrington AF between 10th and 19th and singles at Thrapston GP on 7th and at Stanford Res on 14th – the latter trapped and ringed.

Whinchat, Stanford Res, 14th September 2019 (Chris Hubbard)

Whinchat, Brampton Valley, 15th September 2019 (Alan Coles)

The first migrant Stonechats of the autumn also arrived during the period. Singles were at Harrington AF on 10th and 19th, three were at Stanford Res on 14th with one remaining the next day, two were in the Brampton Valley below Hanging Houghton on 17th and two at Summer Leys the following day and singles were found at Milton Malsor on 17th, Wicksteed Water Meadows, Kettering on 17th and 20th and at both Thrapston GP and Borough Hill on 19th.

Stonechat, Stanford Res, 15th September 2019 (Chris Hubbard)

Stonechat, Brampton Valley, 20th September 2019 (Martin Swannell)

Northern Wheatears continued to trickle through, with singles at Hollowell Res on 7th and 14th, Harrington AF on 10th and 13th, Orlingbury on 13th, Clifford Hill GP on 15th-16th, in the Brampton Valley on 17th and at Borough Hill on 19th.

Northern Wheatear, Clifford Hill GP, 16th September 2019 (Doug Goddard)

Rarely identified in autumn, for some reason, a White Wagtail was found at Boddington Res on 7th and on the same date, single Tree Pipits flew over Borough Hill and Croughton Quarry.

Posted in Weekly Reports | Leave a comment

Rarity Round-up, 31st August to 6th September 2019

Temperatures fell as the prevailing Atlantic airflow re-established itself, delivering brisk, breezy and mainly dry conditions on the back of variable northerly to south-westerly winds. Local birding survived on the remnants of last week’s migrant rush, the usual long-stayers were still in place, with the popular well-watched sites continuing to produce small numbers of new birds.

At Hollowell Res the female Ruddy Shelduck remained until at least 3rd, while single Garganeys at Pitsford Res on 31st and at Summer Leys LNR on 3rd were both new in.  Unusually scarce so far this autumn, a single drake Red-crested Pochard at Clifford Hill GP on 5th was the only one of its kind in the county this week.

Garganey, Summer Leys LNR, 3rd September 2019 (Alan Coles)

For those still following the Quail trail, it may not yet have gone completely cold, as one was flushed from setaside on the northern edge of Orlingbury on 1st. There are October records from at least one previous year …

Up to six Cattle Egrets remained at Stanwick GP throughout and Great Egrets became marginally more widespread with, in addition to the two at Summer Leys LNR and one at Pitsford Res, on and off, new birds at Ditchford GP’s Irthlingborough Lakes and Meadows LNR on 3rd and at Wicksteed Water Meadows, Kettering on the same date.

And so to the mysterious case of the Night Heron, which was reported from two sites in close proximity at Ditchford GP. Specific grid locations emerged from the ether on 31st and whys and wherefores notwithstanding, locals looked there but the willows were bare – if they ever held fruit in the first place.

Nothing so mysterious about a Black-necked Grebe at Pitsford Res on 1st – remarkably, again, only a one-day bird, or so it would seem.

On the raptor front, a Marsh Harrier flew east over Stanwick’s Visitor Centre on 5th but the number of Ospreys dwindled again to singles at Hollowell, Pitsford and Thrapston on 31st, the latter site hanging on to its bird until the next day.

A poor showing for waders this week saw just one adult Black-tailed Godwit at Summer Leys on 3rd-4th and up to three Greenshanks at Hollowell between 31st and 3rd, plus one at Summer Leys all week and two at Boddington Res on 6th.

Adult Black-tailed Godwit, Summer Leys LNR, 3rd September 2019 (Alan Coles)

Greenshank, Summer Leys LNR, 3rd September 2019 (Alan Coles)

For the second week running, a juvenile Little Tern made its way to the county, appearing at Stanwick GP early in the morning of 2nd. Aside from that, a juvenile Arctic Tern at Pitsford on the same date was noteworthy. Pitsford also attracted a juvenile Little Gull for the best part of the week, between 31st and 5th. Again, just one Mediterranean Gull was found – this time a first-winter – at Boddington on 2nd, while a juvenile Caspian Gull appeared at Stanwick on 1st.

First-winter Mediterranean Gull, Boddington Res, 2nd September 2019 (Mike Pollard)

Single adult Yellow-legged Gulls were at Ravensthorpe on 31st, Stanwick on 1st, Hollowell on 1st and 3rd and at Pitsford on 5th but seventeen were counted at Stanwick on 6th.

Adult Yellow-legged Gull, Stanwick GP, 6th September 2019 (Steve Fisher)

The flood of passerines last week had abated somewhat by the end of the period but Common Redstarts continued to appear in higher than average numbers. Stanford held two on 31st and one was trapped there on 3rd. The last day of August also produced singles near Lamport and at Pitsford and two at Twywell, while the following day saw singles at Harrington AF and Hollowell and three at Fawsley Park. On 3rd, there were four near Walgrave and two at Blueberry Farm, Maidwell – the latter having dropped to one by 5th, on which date there were up to two at Harrington and singles at Wollaston and Fleetland Farm (Duston), Northampton.

Adult female Common Redstart, Stanford Res, 3rd September 2019 (Dawn Sheffield)

Numbers of Whinchats were also still much in evidence, with five at Wollaston on 31st and 5th, up to three were in the Brampton Valley at Blueberry Farm between 1st and 5th, three were at Neville’s Lodge, Finedon on 2nd, singles were at Harrington and Pitsford on 5th and three were at Fleetland Farm on the same date. Northern Wheatears were, however, less abundant with only singles at Fawsley Park on 1st, Harrington on 1st-3rd, Blueberry Farm on 2nd and near East Haddon on 5th.

Pied Flycatcher, Barnwell CP, 1st September 2019 (John Hunt)

Another Pied Flycatcher discovered at Barnwell CP on 31st remained until the following day, continuing this species’ record run so far this autumn. Back at Blueberry Farm, a Corn Bunting on 3rd was the first record in the county since the last winter period.

Posted in Weekly Reports | Leave a comment