The Week in Focus: 9th to 15th August 2014

The week kicked off with storm-force south-westerlies and heavy downpours as the remnants of Hurricane Bertha hit northern European shores and a low pressure system tracked north-east across the UK. With the exception of a Sabine’s Gull in neighbouring Warwickshire, the much hoped-for inland seabirds failed to materialise and the week passed by somewhat limply and at a few degrees cooler than the temperatures enjoyed during the preceding few weeks.

The two Barnacle Geese remained at Hollowell Res all week, as did the two long-staying Ruddy Shelducks – now capable of flight – at Pitsford Res, along with the two drake Red-crested Pochards, female Goldeneye and the only new arrival there – a juvenile Common Scoter on 11th-13th. The two Garganey from last week remained at Daventry CP until at least 11th with one still present there on 15th.

Two reports of Osprey this week included one at Pitsford Res on 11th and two at Hollowell Res on 15th, while the site-faithful Marsh Harrier continued to put in appearances at Harrington AF until 12th, followed by singles – or possibly one individual – at Ditchford GP and Summer Leys LNR the following day. The 9th saw Peregrines at Blueberry Farm (Maidwell), Daventry CP and Summer Leys LNR with one again at Blueberry Farm on 11th-12th and three at Ditchford GP on 13th.

The movement of waders was slow and unremarkable with just one Little Ringed Plover reported from Stanwick GP on 11th and three at Hollowell Res on 15th, while a Ringed Plover was at Stanwick on 14th – the same day as three at Hollowell Res and a Dunlin was at Clifford Hill GP on 9th, with two there on 11th and one at Stanwick GP on the same date. The only Common Snipe this week were six on 11th and one on 14th – also at Stanwick GP, while a Whimbrel flew north at Hollowell Res on 15th. Common Sandpipers were seen throughout the week at seven localities, with a maximum of five at Hollowell Res on 11th, and Green Sandpipers were found at five with a maximum of three at Daventry CP on 9th and at Ditchford GP’s Broadholme STW on 11th, while last week’s juvenile Greenshank remained at Summer Leys LNR until 9th and another visited Hollowell Res on 15th.

Juvenile Mediterranean Gulls continued to show in the Pitsford Res roost with up to three there between 10th and 15th and a juvenile Caspian Gull appeared at Stanwick GP on 14th, where in excess of twenty Yellow-legged Gulls were counted on 11th and more than eighteen on 14th. Elsewhere, Pitsford Res produced up to four adult and one juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls between 9th and 15th, two juveniles were at Clifford Hill GP on 9th and single adults visited Daventry CP on 9th and Hollowell Res on 11th and 15th.

The two Turtle Doves remained at Harrington AF until at least 12th and a Tree Pipit flew south over nearby Hanging Houghton early on 15th. Common Redstarts were still very much in evidence this week, the 9th seeing singles at Hellidon and Summer Leys LNR and two at Borough Hill, singles were also in the Brampton Valley on 10th and Blueberry Farm on 12th when three were also at Harrington AF. The latter site produced a Whinchat on 12th and two were at nearby Blueberry Farm between 9th and 12th, while single Northern Wheatears visited Hellidon on 9th, Harrington AF on 12th and Denton Wood on 14th.

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