A generally mild and dry week with low pressure to the south initially delivering a southerly/easterly airstream, later giving way to a high pressure system bringing north-easterly winds at the week’s end.
The Pink-footed Goose, which joined the resident Greylag flock at Thrapston GP in early April, was still there, appearing very settled, at the month’s end, while the Egyptian Goose remained at Clifford Hill GP until 26th and a pair with nine goslings was discovered at a locality in the north of the county on 30th. Garganeys have remained scarce so far this spring but a drake at Pitsford Res broke the six-week block on 2nd, while the drake Scaup found there on 19th was still present on 26th. A drake Goldeneye lingered at Thrapston GP until 2nd.
Heading the cast of rarities this week – well, the only rarity this week, in fact – was the immature Spoonbill which flew into Summer Leys in the early afternoon of 27th and stayed for forty minutes before continuing its journey up the Nene Valley. It was later discovered at Clifford Hill GP, where it remained for just over two hours before being flushed by fishermen.
This is the first in Northants since October 2011, when one was at Stanford Res. The only scarce raptor of the week was an Osprey reported fishing in the Elinor Trout Lake at Thrapston GP on 1st.
Little Ringed Plovers were reported from three locations in the Nene Valley, two Dunlins were at Clifford Hill GP on 27th, ten were present on 1st and six there on 2nd, while Summer Leys held two on 27th and four on 1st. Two Black-tailed Godwits were at the latter site on 26th and two Bar-tailed Godwits visited Clifford Hill GP on 29th and the week’s only Whimbrels were nine in the Brampton Valley on 27th. Other waders included single Common Sandpipers at Summer Leys on 1st and Daventry CP the following day while a Turnstone visited Clifford Hill GP on 27th.
Apart from three first-summers at Clifford Hill GP on 29th, this week’s Little Gulls were all at Summer Leys, where at least four different birds occurred during the period, with a maximum of three on 29th-30th.
The same site hosted a Black Tern briefly on 26th, while Arctic Terns were found at Pitsford Res, where there were three on 26th, Clifford Hill GP, where there were two on 27th, one on 1st and four on 2nd, Summer Leys, with two on 29th and Daventry CP, with seven on 2nd.
Passerines were thinner on the ground this week with a male Black Redstart in an area with no public access in Burton Latimer on 28th, a male Common Redstart at Harrington AF on 30th with a Whinchat there at the same time, another Whinchat at Sywell CP on 2nd and two Northern Wheatears at Hemington on 26th, two in the Brampton Valley on 26th-27th and one at Hardingstone GP on 28th.