The week’s weather was dominated by a westerly airstream, which was largely unfavourable for the arrival of new migrants. In fact, the latter were few and far between, which, by late May, is generally to be expected. However, while a southerly-drifting White-tailed Eagle was, potentially, the highlight of the period, rather more static, coiffured and dapper fare was on offer in the nether reaches of a certain local reservoir.
Yes, last week’s Stanwick-cum-Pitsford Black-necked Grebes continued to put on a show in Scaldwell Bay over the weekend – and, for sheer splendour, a glitzy summer-plumaged Black-necked really does take some beating. There were no further reports beyond 22nd.
Stanwick’s Glossy Ibis remained throughout the week but was seen to fly off north-east on a couple of occasions, five Cattle Egrets were present at the same locality on 22nd, one remained on 23rd and one visited Summer Leys LNR on 24th.
While Summer Leys also hosted a passing Osprey on 23rd, an immature White-tailed Eagle reported flying south over the M1/A43 junction on 21st undoubtedly provided a ‘barn door’ moment for one observer. A subsequent check with a representative of the Roy Dennis Foundation quickly established there were no released immatures in the area at the time …
Returning to more traditional birding environments, four Bar-tailed Godwits were seen in flight over Summer Leys on 23rd and, on the morning of the same date, a Little Tern spent all of eight minutes at Daventry CP before heading off high east.
At the other end of the spectrum, late passerine migrants moving through included a male Common Redstart at Harrington AF on 24th, a female Northern Wheatear at Hartwell between 21st and 24th and, most unexpectedly for the time of year, a Hawfinch flying west at Stanwick GP, also on 24th.