Rarity Round-up, 26th August to 1st September 2017

Another period of locally settled weather with a continual, light, westerly airstream proved unconducive to grounding many migrants. Nevertheless, there were some new arrivals during the week, which ended on the officially recognised first day of ‘meteorological autumn’.

After a blank week for wildfowl, up to two Garganeys were again on site at Pitsford Res until at least 31st, while the same locality produced an adult drake Common Scoter, south of the causeway, on 26th. The escaped, metal-ringed female Bufflehead, first discovered in June, was still found to be lurking at Clifford Hill GP on the same date.

At least one of the Pitsford Great White Egrets remained throughout the week, although two were again on show there on 27th, while the same site produced a fly-over Osprey on 1st.

Great White Egret, Pitsford Res, 28th August 2017 (Mike Alibone)

Ospreys were also seen at Stanford Res on 26th, 27th, 28th and 31st and two more included one in flight over Silverstone Circuit on 27th and another fishing along the River Nene in the vicinity of Cogenhoe Mill on 31st. The only other raptors of note were a Marsh Harrier heading south-west along the Nene Valley at Stanwick on 28th and another in Pitsford’s Walgrave Bay on 1st.

Black-tailed Godwit, Stanford Res, 30th August 2017 (Chris Hubbard)

Pitsford, Stanford and Stanwick shared this week’s small numbers of Black-tailed Godwits between them, Pitsford producing one on 26th-27th, Stanford hosting two on the same dates and one from 28th to 30th and Stanwick holding singles on 29th and 31st. Meanwhile, Stanwick’s Temminck’s Stint became more elusive, behaving erratically and disappearing for periods of time as it commuted between the main lake and the Visitor Centre Lake on 26th and 29th-30th.

Little Tern, Hollowell Res, 28th August 2017 (Douglas McFarlane)

Unusual but not unprecedented in August, three Little Terns, an adult and two juveniles, arrived at Hollowell Res on the afternoon of 28th, staying there into the early evening, while little materialised in the way of interesting larids, with single Yellow-legged Gulls at Pitsford on 27th and 29th.

Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, Pitsford Res, 27th August 2017 (Angus Molyneux)

Stanford Res enjoyed a run of Common Redstarts, with two trapped and ringed on 26th, another trapped and ringed on 28th, followed by one there on 29th. Singles were also seen at Borough Hill on 26th and at Fawsley Park the following day, while two were found in a hedgerow near Twywell on 1st.

Whinchat, Stanford Res, 31st August 2017 (Chris Hubbard)

After just one, last week, more Whinchats appeared, including singles at Borough Hill on 26th, Hollowell Res on 27th and, on 31st, singles visited Bozenham Mill and Sywell CP, while two were near Glapthorn Cow Pasture and two were also found in a weedy field at Stanford Res, at least one of which remained the following day.

By contrast, very few Northern Wheatears have been found so far this autumn and this week saw only three – one at Stanford Res on 26th, another at Preston Deanery on 31st and one near Twywell on 1st, while a Tree Pipit was discovered at Borough Hill on 27th and two more were at Harrington AF on 31st.

Northern Wheatear, Preston Deanery, 31st August 2017 (Mike Alibone)

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