The period saw a slight drop in temperature accompanying largely wet and blustery conditions, still backed by a south-westerly Atlantic airstream, still effectively blocking arrivals of numbers of wildfowl – and other potentially interesting species – from the east.No longer site faithful, the Pitsford Ruddy Shelduck went on vacation to Sywell CP
on 20th, leaving behind the drake and ‘redhead’ Smew in Holcot Bay until at least 23rd, while another drake Smew was discovered at Stanford Res on 21st and another at Earls Barton GP on 24th. Meanwhile, the juvenile Great Northern Diver remained throughout on the watersports pit at Ditchford GP
Just two reports of Golden Plovers this week included ‘many’ at Summer Leys on 19th and in excess of one thousand between Yardley Gobion and Potterspury on 21st, the latter having been present in the area for the last six weeks. The only Redshanks were again the one at Pitsford Res on 19th and another at Wicksteed Park Lake on 22nd, while single Green Sandpipers were at both Daventry CP and Ravensthorpe Res on 19th and Pitsford Res from 20th to 23rd, with two there on 21st.
Winter gulling has not really got underway this year and the closure of Sidegate Landfill last January will no doubt have a severe impact on gulls visiting previously favoured roost sites in the Nene valley. Nevertheless, the Pitsford Res roost produced an adult Mediterranean Gull on 21st, while earlier in the day the same site produced a third-winter Caspian Gull and a first-winter Caspian visited Stanford Res on the same date.
North of Pitsford, a Short-eared Owl was again at Harrington AF on 21st, while the bird in the set-aside area, east of the feeder stream at Stanford Res, was still present on 23rd. On the passerine front there were single Stonechats at Summer Leys on 19th and