The Week in Focus: 23rd to 29th May 2015

A predominantly westerly airstream brought sporadic showers, but conditions remained largely dry until the week’s end. Few new migrants were reported, although two Cattle Egrets flying west over Blueberry Farm on 27th would have constituted a popular draw had they been relocated.  Conversely the Summer Leys Great White Egret appeared intent to stick it out at that locality until at least 25th.

Great White Egret, Summer Leys LNR, 24th May 2015 (Phil Jackman)

The year’s first Quail was reported singing near Polebrook on 28th, while raptors worthy of note this week were a Marsh Harrier flying south along the Brampton Valley on 24th, an adult male Hen Harrier near Twywell Hills and Dales on 27th and single Peregrines at Corby, Higham Ferrers and Thrapston.

Little Ringed Plovers were seen at three localities and the only Ringed Plover reported was one at Pineham on 23rd, while the only Dunlin were singles at Hollowell Res on 27th and at Stanwick GP the following day. Stanwick also held a Turnstone from 24th to 26th and a Redshank on the latter date and two remained at Summer Leys, where a Wood Sandpiper dropped in on 27th.

The long-staying second-summer Mediterranean Gull was also still present at Summer Leys throughout the week while, at Stanwick, the putative second-summer Azorean Gull

Putative second-summer Azorean Gull, Stanwick GP 25th May 2015 (Steve Fisher)

also remained with up to Yellow-legged Gulls and a second-summer Caspian Gull was also present between 26th and 28th.

Second-summer Caspian Gull, Stanwick GP 26th May 2015 (Steve Fisher)

A late spring Arctic Tern visited Daventry CP on 29th but scarce passerines this week were restricted to six Crossbills flying west at Kelmarsh on 25th.