The Week in Focus 4th to 10th June 2016

A pretty mixed bag of weather conditions saw temperatures reaching the high twenties under a continental influence at the start of the week, sparking thunderstorms and heavy showers in some areas. Atlantic weather systems ensured a return to average temperatures by the week’s end as the winds took on a more westerly direction prior to the onset of more unsettled conditions.

The injured Ruddy Shelduck continued to be reported from Pitsford Res until 8th and another drake Garganey was discovered – this time on the scrape at Summer Leys LNR on 4th.

Drake Garganey, Summer Leys LNR, 4th June 2016 (Mike Alibone)

The same also date produced a Great White Egret in flight over Northampton, while a White Stork was watched circling above Old Corby village on 6th before heading off high north-west. The only raptors reported this week were three Ospreys – one west over Pitsford Res on 5th, another over Brampton Lane, Northampton the next day and one drifting over Guilsborough on 8th.

An ephemeral flame from the dying embers of spring – and the undoubted highlight of the week – was the rather smart female Red-necked Phalarope which was discovered at Stanwick GP on the evening of 4th, when it was present around the islands in the A45 Lay-by Pit. Sadly, it had departed by the next morning.

Female Red-necked Phalarope, Stanwick GP, 4th June 2016 (Bob Bullock)

Perhaps confusingly, however, we were dealt a taste of autumn when a Green Sandpiper appeared at Stanwick GP on 7th. This species normally returns toward the end of the month so the early appearance of this individual suggests a failed breeder.