Continuing on a theme, an established south-westerly airstream brought intermittent showers and occasional heavy rain throughout the week. Water levels rose at reservoirs and gravel pits and localised flooding occurred, particularly in the Nene Valley, although a significant amount had drained away by the week’s end. Northamptonshire again failed to attract any Glossy Ibises from the ongoing national influx, estimated to involve at least thirty-five mobile individuals, despite occurrences in the neighbouring counties of Lincolnshire, Bedfordshire and Oxfordshire. There is still time …
The blistering Barnacle Goose remained at Blatherwycke Lake until at least 7th, two Egyptian Geese visited Pitsford Res on 4th while the usual two were still mobile around Ditchford GP the following day. The only Pintail were one at Stanwick GP and two at Pitsford Res on 4th with just one at the latter locality again on 6th, where up to six Red-crested Pochards remained throughout the week with two more at Ringstead GP on 10th and the drake Scaup still at Ditchford GP on the same date. The three Long-tailed Ducks remained on Mary’s Lake at Earls Barton GP
throughout the week, up to eight Smew, including three drakes, were present at Pitsford Res, while two visited Clifford Hill GP on 9th and Goosanders were reported from five localities with a maximum of eight at Abington Park Lakes, Northampton and Hardingstone GP on 6th.
The wintering juvenile Great Northern Diver remained at Pitsford Res throughout the period and the elusive Bittern at Stortons GP was seen on 6th and 10th, while up to two Great White Egrets were still at Pitsford between 4th and 8th and one remained at Earls Barton GP all week with two present there on 5th. The only scarce raptors reported this week all happened to be Peregrines with singles at Earls Barton GP on 7th, Harrington AF on 7th-8th, Clifford Hill GP on 9th and Great Brington and Ditchford GP on 10th.
Waders were similarly in short supply with Golden Plovers recorded at three localities, a Jack Snipe at Pitsford Res on 10th, Green Sandpiper at Ditchford GP on 10th and ten Redshanks at Stanwick GP on 4th was a reasonable total. Stanwick GP produced the majority of the rarest gulls – albeit in small numbers – with an adult Glaucous Gull and an adult Caspian Gull on 10th plus 3 Yellow-legged Gulls on 4th and 10th, while a Mediterranean Gull was at Ditchford GP on 8th and single Caspian Gulls there on 4th and 5th.
The only Chiffchaffs this week were three at Ecton SF on 5th and one at Pitsford Res on 10th, two female Central European Blackcaps were in a Sywell garden on 4th and males were in two Northampton gardens all week, while two or three Bearded Tits were still at Stortons GP on 5th-6th and 10th. The two wintering Stonechats were still in residence at Blueberry Farm, Maidwell on 10th and Bramblings were seen at five localities with a maximum of twenty to twenty-five near Badby Wood on 5th.