The Week in Focus: 25th to 31st May 2013

A warm, dry start to the week again gave way to unsettled conditions with westerly and northerly elements to the airstream bringing few new birds to the County.

A drake Garganey at Clifford Hill GP on 31st and a drake Red-crested Pochard at Stanwick GP on 30th were the only ducks of note but a female Goldeneye at Earls Barton GP on 31st was fashionably late. Bird of the week this week, however, was without doubt an adult Gannet, which was seen in flight twice within fifteen minutes at Summer Leys LNR on 29th and over nearby Wellingborough shortly afterwards. This appears to be the 31st record for Northamptonshire with previous records this century in 2001, 2009, 2010 and 2011. Hardly a week goes by without an Osprey or two being seen and this one was no exception with singles over Thrapston GP on 26th and Summer Leys on 30th, while the only Peregrine reported was one at Desborough on 25th. Waders continued to be thin on the ground, which is only to be expected in late May. Two Ringed Plovers visited Summer Leys on 27th, two Dunlins were there on 29th with one there on 31st and single Common Sandpipers were also at this locality on 25th and at Daventry CP on 28th. Summer Leys also produced a Greenshank on the latter date and another, or the same, was there on 31st with one at Thrapston GP on 30th. The only relatively uncommon gull this week was a second-summer Yellow-legged Gull at Stanwick GP on 27th but a second-summer Common Gull at Summer Leys on 31st was unseasonal while a Black Tern – locally scarce this spring – was at Daventry CP on 28th.

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