Atlantic weather systems ensured a mainly south-westerly airstream for much of the week with passerine migration more marked than in previous weeks.
Last week’s two Barnacle Geese remained at Hollowell Res until at least 5th, while the two long-staying Ruddy Shelducks at Pitsford Res were still there on 4th with the autumn’s first Pintail appearing there on 8th. The only Garganeys this week were two at Daventry CP between 3rd and 8th, while the two drake Red-crested Pochards remained at Pitsford Res and single female Goldeneyes were also still at the latter locality and at Earls Barton GP all week. A Red-necked Grebe displaying at a Great Crested Grebe with young at Pitsford Res was a surprise find on 8th.
With no Ospreys reported this week Marsh Harriers took centre stage with the Harrington AF ‘cream-crown’ continuing to put in appearances there almost daily, also visiting nearby Blueberry Farm on 2nd-3rd, and one appearing at Summer Leys LNR on 6th with Peregrines there on the same date and at Hollowell Res on 8th.
Little Ringed Plovers were thin on the ground this week with single juveniles at Summer Leys LNR on 3rd and 6th and at Hollowell Res on 5th and 8th, while single Dunlins visited both Hollowell Res and Clifford Hill GP on 5th and two were at the latter locality the following day. The male Ruff hung on at Summer Leys LNR/Earls Barton GP
until 6th and the only Common Snipe of the week were singles at Stanwick GP on 5th and Pitsford Res on 8th, while three Whimbrels flew south at the latter locality on 2nd. Common Sandpipers were seen throughout the week at Clifford Hill GP, Daventry CP, Hollowell Res, Pitsford Res, Summer Leys LNR and Stanwick GP with no more than two at any one locality and Green Sandpipers were found at Clifford Hill GP, Summer Leys LNR, Stanwick GP and Daventry CP with a maximum of three at the latter locality from 5th to 8th. Following last week’s Wood Sandpiper at Hollowell Res, another visited Summer Leys LNR for one day only on 6th and a Greenshank was at the same site from 6th to 8th.
More juvenile Mediterranean Gulls appeared with two at Pitsford Res on 2nd and onethere on 4th and 8th and further singles in a ploughed field at Kelmarsh on 5th and at Clifford Hill GP on 7th. A juvenile Caspian Gull was found at Daventry CP on 8th, while up to four Yellow-legged Gulls were at Pitsford Res between 2nd and 4th, one was at Kelmarsh on 5th, singles visited Daventry CP on 6th and Clifford Hill GP on 5th-6th with two there on 7th. Surprisingly, none was reported from Stanwick GP this week.
The two Turtle Doves continued their summer residence at Harrington AF throughout the week with the same site continuing to host a singing Grasshopper Warbler to the 7th (with another two nearby at Blueberry Farm, Maidwell on 4th) and a Pied Flycatcher plus a proliferation of Common Redstarts were also at Harrington AF, with one of the former reported on 7th and up to three of the latter throughout the week. Other Common Redstarts were reported from Blueberry Farm, Maidwell with singles on 2nd and 5th and three on 4th and Hellidon, where there was an unusually high count of eight on 7th. A Whinchat was seen almost daily at Harrington AF, while up to two were nearby in the Brampton Valley and single Northern Wheatears were at Harrington AF on 5th and Hellidon on 7th. Harrington AF produced a Ring Ouzel briefly on 4th and two Crossbills flew over Hanging Houghton on 7th.
2 thoughts on “The Week in Focus: 2nd to 8th August 2014”
Hi Mike – would you mind advertising this link to Northants birders. We’re keen to kind out their opinions on which parts of the Nene Valley they value, and why. Plus there’s a photo cometitin with a chance to win some Opticron binoculars: http://www.northampton.ac.uk/news/new-website-and-photo-competition-launched-to-celebrate-the-biodiversity-of-the-nene-valley
*typo – “competition”!