A somewhat unsettled week, dominated by Atlantic low pressure systems and gales as we nudge into October and once again, little in the shape of new birds.
And it’s as you were on the waterfowl front, with the Cackling Goose still at DIRFT 3 on 26th. It closely resembles the race minima, but it appears a little on the large size and this subspecies is widely kept in captivity in both Britain and Europe …
New in or just the local wanderer, a Pink-footed Goose was found at Hollowell Res on 29th, a single Garganey remained at Daventry CP on 26th-27th and three Red-crested Pochards appeared at Clifford Hill GP on 28th.
The Summer Leys Bittern failed to show during the week but the rarely sought Stortons bird was seen in flight there on 26th, while the rather less cryptically-coloured Cattle Egrets remained visible at Stanwick GP, where there were at least four on 25th-26th. Compared with last week, Great Egrets were more widespread, with records coming from the ten localities of Blatherwycke Lake, Daventry CP, Deene Lake, Earls Barton GP, Hollowell Res, Pitsford Res, Naseby Res, Stanwick GP, Summer Leys LNR and Thrapston GP, although no more than two were present at any of these.
Quality, not quantity, was the theme when it came to this week’s raptors – specifically a Goshawk, which was seen circling over Byfield before drifting east, on 25th. The status of this species in the county remains a mystery. Once thought to be a secret breeder, it was never proven and records are few and far between.
Wader movements remained at a low ebb, with just a single Black-tailed Godwit at Thrapston GP on 1st, the long-staying juvenile male Ruff still at Summer Leys on 28th and a Greenshank remaining at Daventry CP until at least 27th.
Gulls, too, were in shorter supply than of late, with just a juvenile/first-winter Caspian Gull at Summer Leys on 27th. Yellow-legged Gulls maxed out with three at Thrapston GP on 28th after two there on 26th, up to two at Pitsford between 26th and 30th and singles at Stanwick on 25th and Summer Leys on 27th.
A Common Redstart – perhaps this year’s last – was at Harrington AF on 25th, while last week’s three Stonechats remained at Hollowell on 30th and one visited Pitsford on 28th.