The Week in Focus, 9th to 15th July 2016

There was little change in either the weather or the birds from last week. West to south-westerly winds, sunny spells and lower than hoped-for temperatures continue to be the hallmarks of a generally lacklustre summer. Waders continued to trickle through in small numbers while the seasonal build-up of Yellow-legged Gulls at Stanwick GP continued.

Both the escaped – presumed taverneriCackling Goose and the injured Ruddy Shelduck were both still at Pitsford Res on 10th, as was a Red-crested Pochard on the same date. At Stanwick GP, the Garganey remained until at least 14th and two Common Scoters dropped on to the A45 Lay-by Pit, also on 14th – while a Marsh Harrier flew east on 10th and it, or another, was hunting over the reedbed there two days later. The only other raptor of note was a Peregrine at Thrapston GP on 9th.

Female and eclipse drake Common Scoters, Stanwick GP, 14th July 2016 (Steve Fisher)

Four Little Ringed Plovers were at Summer Leys LNR on 10th and two, along with a Dunlin, were at Stanwick GP on 12th. Stanwick also produced three Ruff on 14th and Summer Leys saw a run of Black-tailed Godwits, with two on 12th, an unconfirmed report of forty the following day and between eleven and fourteen on 14th. Numbers of Common Sandpipers rose from two at Stanwick GP on 10th to four there on 15th, while two were also at Summer Leys on 10th and ten were counted at Pitsford Res on the same date with just one there on 14th. The only Green Sandpipers were singles at Stanford Res on 9th and at Pitsford Res on 9th-10th, while two Greenshanks were at Stanwick GP on 13th dropping to one the following day and Summer Leys produced two adult Redshanks with at least two chicks during the period.

The annual late summer build-up of Yellow-legged Gulls at Stanwick GP continued with numbers there exceeding fifty by the week’s end and there were also four at Pitsford Res on 10th. More Caspian Gulls accompanied the Stanwick Yellow-leggeds and included at least two first-summers and a second-summer between 11th and 15th.

First-summer Caspian Gull, Stanwick GP, 13th July 2016 (Steve Fisher)

A Turtle Dove was seen at Finedon on 9th and two were ‘purring’ in Lady Wood the following day, while a single male Crossbill was at Bucknell Wood on 14th.