The Week in Focus: 24th to 30th May 2014

The first half of the week remained unsettled with showers from the continent initially moving north across the country before winds from the east took over in the latter half. Migration slowed considerably with few new birds being found.

Two Egyptian Geese visited Summer Leys LNR on 25th but the only other wildfowl of note were lingering Goldeneyes comprising a female still at Earls Barton GP and a drake still at Thrapston GP all week. A Quail was singing at Boddington Res on 24th and yet another Spoonbill – this time a second-summer – put in a brief appearance at Summer Leys on 29th. This is the third to visit this site this spring, being readily distinguished from last week’s individual by the amount of black present in the primaries.

Second-summer Spoonbill, Summer Leys LNR, 29th May 2014 (Alan Coles). Black tips to primaries restricted to P9 and P10.

Second-summer Spoonbill, Summer Leys LNR, 29th May 2014 (Alan Coles). Small black tips to restricted to outer two primaries.

The only Osprey reported this week was one at Pitsford Res on 26th, a Marsh Harrier visited Harrington AF on 25th and a Peregrine was near Stortons GP on 27th-28th.

Little Ringed Plovers continued to be reported from Summer Leys and Clifford Hill GP, while 2 Ringed Plovers were at the first of these two sites on 25th and one was at the latter on 26th. Both sites also held single Dunlins – Clifford Hill GP on 24th and Summer Leys on 30th, while the only other migrant waders this week were a Wood Sandpiper and a Common Sandpiper – both being at Stanwick GP on 24th. A second-summer Yellow-legged Gull visited Clifford Hill GP on 26th but arguably more interesting was the leucistic Black-headed Gull,doing its best to look like a Slender-billed Gull but falling well short of the mark, at Summer Leys the day before.

Leucistic Black-headed Gull, Summer Leys LNR, 25th May 2014 (Simon Hales). Note obvious pale iris.

Leucistic Black-headed Gull, Summer Leys LNR, 25th May 2014 (Simon Hales). Note obvious pale iris as well as reduced pigmentation in bare parts.

Leucistic Black-headed Gull, Summer Leys LNR, 25th May 2014 (Simon Hales).

Leucistic Black-headed Gull, Summer Leys LNR, 25th May 2014 (Simon Hales).

A small flurry of Arctic Terns comprised sixteen at Daventry CP on 27th and one at Boddington Res on 29th. Single fly-over Ring-necked Parakeets were seen at Ditchford GP on 28th and at Roade on 30th.

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