The Week in Focus: 20th to 26th July 2013

Nineteen consecutive days of temperatures exceeding 28°C (recorded somewhere in the UK) made this the hottest summer so far this century and up to 34°C was recorded locally on 22nd. Subsequent to this, the weather broke down somewhat with isolated heavy showers and thunderstorms during the latter part of the week. Reservoir water levels remain disappointingly high, providing little in the way of attractive habitat for the migrant waders which have recently started to come through the county.

An eclipse drake Mandarin Duck visited Ravensthorpe Res on 23rd, the summering drake Wigeon remained at Hollowell Res until at least 25th, single Garganeys were at Stanwick GP on 20th and Summer Leys LNR on 21st and an eclipse drake Red-crested Pochard remained at Stanwick GP between 24th and 26th. For the second week running Daventry CP produced a flock of Common Scoters with five, including four drakes, there on 22nd.

The only raptors of note this week were single Ospreys at Stanford Res on 20th and in the Brampton Valley below Hanging Houghton the following day, while a female Peregrine visited Summer Leys, also on 21st.

Little Ringed Plovers were recorded from Hollowell Res, Stanwick GP and Summer Leys, a migrant Ringed Plover was found at Stanwick GP on 26th and a Dunlin also at Stanwick GP on 20th. The first Common Snipe of the autumn – four – were at Summer Leys on 23rd and 24th, a Black-tailed Godwit visited nearby Earls Barton GP on 21st and twelve were at Summer Leys on 26th, while Common Sandpipers were recorded from Ditchford GP (Broadholme STW), Stanwick GP, Summer Leys, Hollowell Res, Stanford Res and Pitsford Res with a maximum of six at the latter site on 26th. Green Sandpipers, too, were found at more localities than last week with Pitsford Res, Ditchford GP, Summer Leys, Earls Barton GP and Stanwick GP all producing this species with a maximum of four at the last named of these sites on 26th. Single Greenshanks visited both Thrapston GP and Daventry CP on 20th, Hollowell Res on 23rd and Stanwick GP on 24th.

Stanwick also produced an adult Caspian Gull on the evening of 23rd, along with 26 Yellow-legged Gulls on the same date and eleven there on 26th. Another Yellow-legged Gull visited Hollowell Res on 23rd and three more were in the Pitsford Res gull roost on 26th. Last week’s adult Black Tern began to moult into winter plumage before it was last

seen on 21st. The national Crossbill influx became more evident this week with at least twelve at Sulby on 20th, six at Summer Leys and five west over Langlands, Northampton – all on 20th – and up to six at Harlestone Heath and four south over Pitsford Res on 22nd.

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