A slow-moving low pressure system over the UK dragged in a mixed bag of warm air and showers from the east, on the back of which were just about enough birds to keep spirits up during a traditionally quiet period.
Single Garganeys at Hollowell Res on 19th and Pitsford Res on 18th would appear to be firsts for both sites this year, while the latter locality also produced two drake Common Scoters off the sailing club there on 17th-19th – both showing signs of immaturity. This ties in nicely with moult migration movements of one-year old birds, some of which start to move as early as May, after curtailing their spring migration to the north-east before reaching the breeding range. Perhaps not as exciting but a might more colourful, the drake Red-crested Pochard continued its stay at Stanwick GP until at least 16th.
Four Cattle Egrets were at Ringstead GP on 15th, two of these being seen at adjacent Stanwick GP the following day. With their continued presence in this part of the Nene Valley, it comes as no surprise to discover that, following successful breeding at Ringstead last year, they have bred there again this year – three young being present on 19th.
The Great Egret at Thrapston GP remained until 15th, being joined by another on 13th, while one was also seen at Stanford Res on 15th-16th.
Four localities produced Ospreys this week. One flew north-east over Spratton on 13th, one was over Bulwick on 14th and two at Ravensthorpe Res on the same date, while another visited Pitsford Res on 17th.
Following the Irthlingborough Common Cranes at cockcrow on 16th May, another flew north over East Hunsbury, Northampton at a similarly early hour on 16th. There have been twenty-two accepted records to the end of 2018. Sometimes insomnia pays dividends.
More late spring Black Terns appeared this week – this time at Clifford Hill GP on 13th, when three were present, two of which remained the following day.
Scarce passerines were at a premium and represented only by a single Crossbill, which was seen at Hardwick Wood on 17th. June-July is the time when this species is on the move so hopefully there will be more to come.