The Week in Focus: 8th to 14th August 2015

Dry conditions with westerlies at the start of the week gave way to murky weather with heavy showers moving north from the near continent during the last two days of the period playing a significant role in the inland occurrence of waders and terns. The autumn wader passage continued unabated and more southbound passerines trickled through.

The two Ruddy Shelducks remained at Pitsford Res until at least 13th and the same site hosted three Ospreys on 10th, while two were at Hollowell Res on 8th and singles visited Welford Res on 8th and 9th, Summer Leys LNR on the latter date and Pitsford on 13th and Hollowell again on 14th. August is consistently a good month for finding Marsh Harriers, which often linger in favoured areas, and so it was that a ‘cream-crown’ was seen between Pitsford Res and Walgrave on 11th, followed by single juveniles the following day at Summer Leys LNR and Blueberry Farm (Maidwell), the latter still in the area on 13th. The only Peregrine of the week was one at Summer Leys LNR on 11th and, on 10th, a Bittern (re)appeared at Stanwick GP in exactly the same place as one had been seen on 19th July, suggesting a summering individual.

Bittern, Stanwick GP, 10th August 2015 (Steve Fisher)

Wader passage was still much in evidence with the autumn’s first Golden Plovers at Harrington AF on 9th and Hollowell Res on 14th, while a Grey Plover was found at Daventry CP also on 14th and small numbers of Little Ringed Plovers included five at Hollowell Res on 8th two there on 12th and three on 14th with one at Pitsford Res on 13th.

Juvenile Little Ringed Plover, Pitsford Res, 13th August 2015 (Alan Francis)

There were more Ringed Plovers this week with two at Hollowell Res between 8th and 13th and four at Pitsford Res on 9th, increasing to eight there on 13th-14th.

Juvenile Ringed Plover, Pitsford Res, 10th August 2015 (Alan Francis)

Three Whimbrels visited Stanwick GP on 14th, three flew south over Harrington AF and another flew south at Hollowell Res on the same date. Two Black-tailed Godwits were at Summer Leys LNR on 8th and seven at Hollowell Res on the same day with two there again on 11th and the same site produced the week’s maximum Dunlin count with eight to ten there on 12th – although small numbers daily at Pitsford Res also included eight on 13th; singles were also at both Clifford Hill GP and Stanwick GP on 8th with twos at the same sites on 14th and one at Hollowell Res on the same date.

Adult Dunlin, Hollowell Res (Martin Swannell)

Juvenile Dunlin, Hollowell Res (Martin Swannell)

The 14th also produced single Sanderlings at Daventry CP and Clifford Hill GP, while a juvenile Knot appeared at Stanwick GP on the same date and a sprinkling of Ruff included up to two juveniles at Pitsford Res between 8th and 14th, one at Hollowell Res on 10th and two at Clifford Hill GP on 14th.

Juvenile Knot, Stanwick GP, 14th August 2015 (Bob Bullock)

Juvenile Ruff, Pitsford Res, 12th August 2015 (Martin Swannell)

Common Sandpipers were reported only from Daventry CP, Clifford Hill GP, Stanwick GP, Ravensthorpe Res and Pitsford Res with a maximum of three at the latter site on 9th, while Green Sandpipers were found at seven sites, with a maximum of six at Daventry CP on 14th. Greenshank numbers picked up with one at Clifford Hill GP on 9th, up to two at Pitsford Res between 9th and 12th and twos at Ravensthorpe Res and Summer Leys

Greenshank, Summer Leys LNR, 14th August 2015 (Bob Bullock)

LNR on 14th and the only Redshanks reported were at Hollowell Res with two on 8th and 13th and one on 11th, the same site along with Summer Leys hosting the week’s only Common Snipe.

Common Snipe, Summer Leys LNR, August 2015 (Martin Swannell)

The murky conditions and heavy rain on 13th brought two Black Terns to Stanwick GP with thirteen later in the day at Pitsford Res, two at Daventry CP the following day, when two also visited Hollowell Res and two more were at Stanwick GP. The same conditions produced two Little Terns at Clifford Hill GP on 14th, while a juvenile Arctic Tern paid a brief visit to Stanwick GP on 11th, two juveniles accompanied the Black Terns at Pitsford Res on 13th and another juvenile was found at the same location the following day. More juvenile Mediterranean Gulls this week included singles at Clifford Hill GP on 8th, Pitsford Res on 9th, 10th and 12th and at Hollowell Res on 11th. Up to two adults and a near-adult Caspian Gulls were at Stanwick GP between 8th and 12th, while up to two Yellow-legged Gulls lingered at Hollowell Res  and Pitsford Res, one was at Thrapston GP on 11th and six were at Summer Leys LNR the following day.

Scarce passerine migrants this week included two Whinchats at Blueberry Farm on 12th and a further two at Harrington AF on 14th, when the same site also produced a Common Redstart, a Northern Wheatear and two overflying Crossbills. Another Northern Wheatear was also seen at Broadholme STW on 13th.