Newsround – 17th to 23rd July 2021

In a week in which temperatures hit a high of 29°C, the wind fluctuated between north and north-easterly and the weather remained dry, as did the birding scene, with nothing outstanding turning up to quicken the pulse.

The sole species representing the wildfowl in this week’s steady-as-she-goes birding endeavours across the county appeared in the form of two Garganeys, with one at Stanwick GP on 19th and the at Pitsford Res on 22nd.

An early morning Quail was reported from Brackley on 21st and Stanwick’s Cattle Egret total leapt to two on 18th-19th dropping back down to one on 22nd-23rd, while the only Great Egret this week was one at Thrapston GP on 19th-21st.

Cattle Egret, Stanwick GP, 23rd July 2021 (Steve Fisher)

Raptors, too, were limited to single Ospreys at Stanford Res on 17th, in flight over Brigstock CP and Fermyn Woods on the same date and one at Thrapston GP on 19th.

We’re not yet out of July and for the 4th week running, the top wader was yet another Wood Sandpiper, which flew off south-west only minutes after being located at the eastern end of Earls Barton GP’s Hardwater Lake on 17th. Coming in at second-best was a Whimbrel making a short stopover at Clifford Hill on 19th, while the only Curlew of the week was one at DIRFT 3 on 18th, along with two Black-tailed Godwits there on the same date with one remaining the following day. Stanwick also produced one of the latter species on 19th, followed by three on 23rd and the same site held a male Ruff for a day on 17th.

Black-tailed Godwits, Stanwick GP, 23rd July 2021 (Steve Fisher)

Apart from an average scattering of Common Sandpipers, Little Ringed Plovers and the odd Dunlin or two, the only other wader of note was Greenshank, with one at Summer Leys LNR on 17th and the rest at DIRFT 3, where there was one on the same date, two on 18th-19th and one from 21st to 23rd.

DIRFT 3 was also the place to be for most of this week’s large, white-headed gulls, with a ‘sub-adult’ Caspian Gull there on 17th, followed by a first-summer of the same species the next day. Two Yellow-legged Gulls were also there on 17th and four on 18th, one was at Pitsford Res on 19th and three there on 20th and, on 23rd, five were found at Stanwick and one at Thrapston. An adult Mediterranean Gull visited Daventry CP on 19th.

Mediterranean Gull, Daventry CP, 19th July 2021 (Gary Pullan)

To passerines … and Common Redstarts were still very much in evidence this week with last week’s female still at Harrington AF on 17th, another female in a Pitsford garden on 18th and two at Blueberry Farm, Maidwell on 19th and 22nd. Two Whinchats were reported from the Brampton Valley below Hanging Houghton on 20th-21st.

Let’s hope next week delivers something a little different …

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