Rarity Round-up, 8th to 14th September 2018

There was perhaps a little more oomph to this week’s autumn migration – just maybe, despite the continuing west to south-westerly winds. The period remained largely dry and warm, with temperatures reaching 22ºC on 9th and 11th.

A Pink-footed Goose at Clifford Hill GP between 8th and 10th at first sight may seem too early to be wild but there were UK arrivals ‘up north’ prior to these dates and this species had appeared in some numbers by the week’s end. Love them or hate them, the female Ruddy Shelduck made another appearance, this time at Stanford Res, on 8th-9th and 11th. The established pattern of occurrence for this species overwhelmingly points to an origin from the feral European population, so at least it counts as a migrant!

Female Ruddy Shelduck, Stanford Res, 8th September 2018 (Chris Hubbard)

The Garganey at Daventry CP remained on view on 8th-9th and again on 12th and 14th and there was also a juvenile at Pitsford Res the following day, on 13th. Meanwhile, single Great White Egrets were again at Thrapston GP on 10th-11th and Pitsford Res on the latter date and one loafed around at Summer Leys all week.

Raptors featured a little more strongly than last week, kicking off with a Honey Buzzard flying low south over Scaldwell Bay at Pitsford Res on 8th and a Marsh Harrier at Thrapston GP on 14th but in between these dates, single Ospreys were seen at the latter locality on 9th and flying south over Pitsford Res on 12th.

Juvenile Knot, Pitsford Res, 7th September 2018 (Bob Bullock)

On the wader front, last week’s juvenile Knot remained until 9th on the single lump of mud poking out of an otherwise brim-full Pitsford Res. It deserves a medal. A Ruff visited Clifford Hill GP on 8th and on the same date, a juvenile Spotted Redshank was watched flying into Hollowell Res, where it remained until at least 13th.

Pitsford Res again produced single Black Terns on 9th and 12th-13th, or was it simply last week’s bird, from 5th, periodically slipping under the radar?

Juvenile Black Tern, Pitsford Res, 13th September 2018 (Alan Coles)
Juvenile Black Tern, Pitsford Res, 13th September 2018 (Alan Coles)

Staying with the diminutive, the week delivered two Little Gulls – an adult at Sywell CP on 10th and a juvenile at Thrapston GP on 14th and, with Mediterranean Gulls unusually absent, larger larids included adult Caspian Gulls at both Naseby Res and Stanwick GP on 9th and a third-summer loafing on buoys at Hollowell Res throughout the period.

Adult Caspian Gull, Naseby Res, 9th September 2018 (Mike Alibone)

Numbers of Yellow-legged Gulls were down, with a juvenile at Clifford Hill GP on 8th, single adults at Thrapston GP on 10th and Pitsford Res from 9th to 12th and two there on 13th.

Up to two Common Redstarts remained at the popular site of Twywell Hills & Dales until at least 12th and a juvenile female was trapped and ringed at Stanford Res on 13th while, in an ongoing show of strength, between one and three Whinchats were seen throughout the week at Clifford Hill GP, Daventry CP, Hollowell Res, Pitsford Res, Stanford Res, Sywell CP and at Wicksteed Water Meadows (Kettering).

Whinchat, Sywell CP, 11th September 2018 (Martin Swannell)
Whinchat, Sywell CP, 12th September 2018 (Doug Goddard)
Whinchat, Stanford Res, 13th September 2018 (Chris Hubbard)

Numbers of Northern Wheatears again remained low, though, with singles at Hollowell Res on 12th and Pitsford Res the following day. Two White Wagtails were found at the dam end of Pitsford Res on 13th.

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