The Week in Focus: 21st to 27th June 2014

Officially the sixth warmest June on record delivered a largely dry week with temperatures above the seasonal average, tempered by light winds predominantly from the west and north. After last week’s whiff of autumn came further evidence that more species were already on the move.

Another breeding record of Egyptian Goose came from the River Nene at Barnwell this week, where a well grown juvenile and two adults were seen on 21st. That the population of this species is on the up in the UK is reflected by breeding records no longer being considered by the British Birds Rare Breeding Birds Panel. More questionable fare in the shape of two Ruddy Shelducks was on offer at Pitsford Res on 25th. Their true origin has yet to be fully established but the Dutch are currently in the process of unravelling the string, so to speak. Other wildfowl this week included a female Garganey at Stanwick GP on 26th-27th and the summering drake Goldeneye at Thrapston GP on 24th. Continuing this year’s run of Spoonbills, another was seen flying south over Wellingborough on 25th, while the only notable raptors were an Osprey over Duston on 24th and a Peregrine at Hardingstone GP on 23rd.

Little Ringed Plovers were reported only from Stanwick GP, where five were present on 26th, the same site hosting all of this week’s other waders on the same date, including the autumn’s first Common Snipe and Greenshank and five Green Sandpipers. Two Sandwich Terns were present there at the same time, along with up to five

Sandwich Terns, Stanwick GP, 26th June 2014 (Steve Fisher)
Sandwich Terns, Stanwick GP, 26th June 2014 (Steve Fisher)

Yellow-legged Gulls – quite a haul for late June at a site which receives considerably less coverage than its not too distant neighbour, Summer Leys. A Black Tern visited Pitsford Res on 22nd. Continuing the theme of recent weeks, a Ring-necked Parakeet was again close to the aviaries in Northampton’s Abington Park on 21st and another adorned a street light in nearby Bewick Road on 23rd.

Male Ring-necked Parakeet, Abington Park, Northampton, 21st June 2014 (Keith J Smith)
Male Ring-necked Parakeet, Abington Park, Northampton, 21st June 2014 (Keith J Smith)

More Grasshopper Warblers came out of the woodwork this week with reeling males at Fermyn Wood CP on 26th and at Stortons GP on the same date.

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