The Week in Focus, 23rd to 29th July 2016

Great White Egret, Stanwick GP, 26th July 2016 (Steve Fisher)

Last week’s hot and humid air ebbed away after the weekend, being replaced by fresher conditions on the back of a restored westerly airstream from the North Atlantic. The autumn’s second Great White Egret appeared, while migrant waders continued to filter through.

The injured Ruddy Shelduck remained at Pitsford Res and up to three Red-crested Pochards were there between 24th and 26th, while a female appeared at Clifford Hill GP on 23rd. Last week’s Great White Egret stayed at Summer Leys LNR until 23rd but was quickly followed by another at Stanwick GP on 26th-27th. Although there is often movement between Nene Valley sites, these were two different birds with completely different bill patterns.

The only large raptor seen this week was the Osprey which flew west over Scaldwell Bay on 26th and the usual smattering of Peregrines included singles at Summer Leys on 27th, Higham Ferrers on 28th and Stanwick GP on 29th.

There was a more diverse selection of waders this week. Four Little Ringed Plovers visited Clifford Hill GP on 23rd and singles were seen at Stanwick GP on 24th and at Summer Leys on 28th, while two Ringed Plovers were at Hollowell Res on 26th. The autumn’s first Whimbrel flew east over Pitsford on 23rd and Black-tailed Godwits continued to move through, singles of which at Stanwick GP on 23rd and 27th and at Summer Leys on 28th with four at the latter locality on 25th and two there on 27th. Summer Leys also produced single Dunlins on 23rd and 27th, while nine visited Hollowell Res on 26th and seven were there on 29th. Common Sandpipers included one at Summer Leys on 23rd and four there on 27th, three at Stanwick GP on 23rd and five on 27th, singles at Pitsford Res on 24th-25th and Sywell CP on 25th and three at Stanford Res on 26th, with four there the following day.

Common Sandpiper, Sywell CP, 25th July 2016 (John Nicholls)

A handful of Green Sandpipers included singles at Clifford Hill GP on 23rd, Pitsford Res on 23rd and 25th and Summer Leys on 27th, while two were at Stanwick GP on 28th and the only Greenshanks was one at Stanford Res on the same date. The first Wood Sandpiper of the autumn appeared briefly at Summer Leys on 28th but did not linger, a Redshank was also there on the same date and a Common Snipe was at Stanwick on 23rd.

Also at Stanwick, the build-up of Yellow-legged Gulls continued with one hundred and fourteen counted there on 28th, while two were at Thrapston GP on 23rd and singles visited Pitsford Res on 24th-25th and Summer Leys on 28th. The only Caspian Gulls this week were, of course, at Stanwick GP with a second-summer on 26th followed by an adult there the next day.

Again, this week’s Turtle Doves were restricted to two at Harrington AF on 23rd and a Firecrest visited a Warmington garden briefly on 23rd.