Rarity Round-up, 13th to 19th July 2019

With national weather conditions nothing to shout about, the influence on local migrants was seemingly minimal. Wader passage ramped up somewhat and despite being mid-summer, it was the white stuff that dominated the news this week ….

Not surprisingly, the first-summer female Ruddy Shelduck stayed put at Hollowell Res all week and the two Red-crested Pochards, ensconced in Walgrave Bay at Pitsford Res, remained until at least 16th.

News that Cattle Egrets have bred successfully in the county for the first time became widespread in recent days. Two, possibly three, well-grown young are being raised in a nest attended diligently by the same trio of adults which has been present at Stanwick GP regularly throughout spring and early summer. More details here. Meanwhile, the period’s token Great Egret reappeared at Pitsford Res on 16th but causing rather more excitement, an adult and three immature Spoonbills flew over Stanwick without stopping, late in the afternoon of the 17th, before presumably the same quartet was relocated at Rutland Water the following morning.

Adult (left) and three immature Spoonbills, Stanwick GP, 17th July 2019 (Steve Fisher)

Rounding off the white stuff and presumably of little interest to most local birders, a roaming Sacred Ibis, photographed at Clipston on 3rd July, was again caught on camera as it flew high over both Ravensthorpe Res and Long Buckby on 16th, appearing two days later in a large garden at the latter location. Although a likely escape, a large feral population is established in France and this species breeds no further away than Brittany.

Sacred Ibis, Ravensthorpe Res, 16th July 2019 (Gary Pullan)
Sacred Ibis, Long Buckby, 18th July 2019 (via Adrian Bryan)

The heat was turned up a little on this week’s wader passage when three Avocets were found at Clifford Hill GP on 14th and a Whimbrel appeared at Stanwick the following day, while transient Black-tailed Godwits included one at Stanwick on 14th, ahead of three there on 16th, followed by three at Ravensthorpe Res on 18th and two in flight at the same locality on 19th.

Black-tailed Godwit, Stanwick GP, 14th July 2019 (Steve Fisher)
Black-tailed Godwits, Ravensthorpe Res, 18th July 2019 (Jon Cook)
Black-tailed Godwits, Ravensthorpe Res, 18th July 2019 (Jon Cook)

Summer Leys LNR produced two Ruffs on 17th and more unusually, a very short-staying Little Stint on The Slips there on 14th. Back at Stanwick, single Greenshanks were present on 15th and 17th and two visited Hollowell on 18th.

Thrapston GP has been quiet of late – until the appearance of a Little Tern on Aldwincle Lake for just fifteen minutes on 17th. This is the second record for the site this year, following a similarly short-staying individual on 25th April. Larids this week were restricted to sightings of Yellow-legged Gulls, including the first juvenile of the autumn at Ravensthorpe Res on 19th. Additionally, single adults were at Thrapston on 16th, Stanwick and Ravensthorpe on 16th and at Hollowell and Daventry Res on 19th. Multiples – all on 17th – included two adults on ploughed land at Little Addington, two at Thrapston and four at Stanwick.

Again, the only passerines making it into this week’s report were Common Redstarts, with records including one at Hanging Houghton on 13th, two at Harrington AF on 18th and a juvenile again at Denton Wood on the same date.

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