Rarity Round-up, 17th to 23rd March 2018

Once more, the county was plunged back into winter as the easterly airstream from Siberia again took hold for the first two days of the period. However, the resultant deposit of snow was short-lived as rising temperatures got to work and the winds subsequently swung north and then south-westerly by the week’s end. In contrast to last week’s flurry of spring migrants, local birders faced a lean period in the field, with little sign of anything new to show for their efforts.

Still hanging with the Greylags, the Stanwick Pink-footed Goose put in an appearance again on 23rd and it seems likely to be around for a while yet as pinkfeet into April are not unusual. The three Scaup from the same locality transferred to the Watersports Pit at nearby Ditchford GP, where they were discovered on 17th, remaining there until at least 20th.

Pink-footed Goose, Stanwick GP, 23rd March 2018 (Steve Fisher)

The Pitsford Slavonian Grebe – now qualifying for long-stayer status – was still present on 21st, while Great White Egrets lingered in all the usual sites in the Nene Valley, which again included Ditchford GP, Earls Barton GP/Summer Leys LNR (four), Stanwick GP (two) and Thrapston GP.

Great White Egret, Earls Barton GP, 23rd March 2018 (Leslie Fox)

Last week’s ‘cream-crown’ Marsh Harrier at Earls Barton GP was again seen on 18th and 19th over Summer Leys on both dates.

Back along the Nene, at Stanwick, four Black-tailed Godwits arrived on 17th and remained until 19th, with one staying until the following day

Last week’s adult Mediterranean Gull at Stanwick was still present on 17th and single adults also appeared at Daventry CP on 18th and 23rd, while the only Yellow-legged Gull during the period was a first-winter in the roost at Pitsford Res on 19th. Caspian Gulls, too, were fewer in number this week, with the Boddington Res roost holding an adult on 17th and Pitsford’s roost producing a second-winter on 17th and 20th and an adult on 19th.

Though still low in numbers, Hawfinches continued to be seen and this week’s comprised one in Dallington Cemetary, Northampton on 17th and up to two still at Cottesbrooke on 19th-20th.

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