Rarity Round-up 22nd to 28th July 2017

Another unsettled week with frequent, heavy showers and a strong, north-westerly to south-westerly airstream. Autumn wader passage continued to deliver new, short-staying arrivals alongside exceptionally high numbers of Common Sandpipers, including twenty at Pitsford and sixteen at Stanford.

Last week’s eclipse drake Garganey was replaced by two juveniles at Pitsford Res, in Scaldwell Bay, where they remained from 23rd until the end of the week, while the two Red-crested Pochards appeared there again on 27th.The summering Bittern remained at Summer Leys all week and a Great White Egret was also there on 26th and 27th, with presumably the same bird visiting Pitsford Res on 23rd, 25th and 28th.

Great White Egret, Summer Leys LNR, 27th July 2017 (Alan Coles)
Great White Egret, Summer Leys LNR, 27th July 2017 (Alan Coles)
Bittern, Summer Leys LNR, 28th July 2017 (Alan Coles)

The week’s focus was on waders, commencing with four Whimbrels flying south over Pitsford Res on 22nd and one ‘on the deck’ there, in Scaldwell Bay, later the same day, while small numbers of Icelandic Black-tailed Godwits continued to trickle through. Two were at Stanford Res on 23rd but 28th produced two at Summer Leys, three at Hollowell Res and eight at Daventry CP. A Sanderling – scarce in autumn – visited Stanford Res on 25th, the same site producing a Turnstone on 27th-28th, heralding a small flurry which included one at Daventry CP on 27th and two more at Pitsford Res on 28th.

Turnstone, Daventry CP, 27th July 2017 (Mike Alibone)
Adult Yellow-legged Gull, Pitsford Res, 22nd July 2017 (Mike Alibone)

An adult Arctic Tern – the first of the autumn – appeared at Pitsford Res on 27th and was still present on 28th. For those indulging in the black art of gull identification, a second-summer Caspian Gull was present at Daventry CP on 26th but Yellow-legged Gull numbers were dramatically down on last week with Daventry CP attracting up to four between 26th and 28th, Hollowell Res holding one on 26th and Pitsford Res producing up to three throughout the week.

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