The county’s first autumn Temminck’s Stint for sixteen years materialises in the early morning gloom of Stanwick’s Visitor Centre Lake.
Persistent patch-watching pays premiums – the proof appearing in the form of a nice adult Temminck’s Stint for Steve Fisher at Stanwick this morning. Present throughout the day on the Visitor Centre Lake, it performed well for all comers, allowing many to catch up with what is now a very scarce visitor to Northants.
Lacking the fresh, brightly-fringed mantle, coverts and flight feathers, it’s a rather grey adult with a few dark-centred feathers of breeding plumage. The first Temminck’s Stint to be recorded in Northants occurred as recently as 1946, at Ecton Sewage Farm, where one was also present during winter 1968-1969 – an amazing record in itself.
The vast majority appear in spring, however, with autumn occurrences being extremely unusual almost anywhere in the UK. May is the month in which to find one and Summer Leys LNR is the place to look, producing 48% of the May records over the past thirty years, followed by Stanwick GP, which produced 30%. The last in autumn, prior to this year, was a very approachable juvenile at Hollowell Reservoir, between 22nd September and 1st October 2001.
Conforming to the established pattern, there has already been one during spring this year, on 9th-10th May, at Pitsford Reservoir.