Newsround – 1st to 7th April 2023

Set against a very mixed bag of weather conditions, born from a battle between Atlantic low and Scandinavian high pressure systems, spring migration continued apace. Once again, Daventry came to the fore, producing the week’s best birds, while more new summer visitors appeared across the county.

While none of the above is an early record-breaker, the Common Redstart – another of which was found at Burton Latimer on 7th – misses out by only three days and the Cuckoo by five. Further White Wagtails (two males) were seen at DIRFT 3 on 6th.

With wildfowl on the wane, the Pink-footed Goose remained with Greylags at Wicksteed Park, Kettering until at least 6th and the female Ring-necked Duck – having entered its 10th week in the county – was still on site at Ravensthorpe Res throughout. New in, however, was the year’s first Common Scoter, a drake, at Stanford Res on 7th.

Another ‘first’ for 2023 was a smart, summer-plumaged Black-necked Grebe at Daventry Res, for one day only, on 4th. Hopefully, there will be more to come as spring further unfolds.

While last week saw a notable absence of waders, this week saw a minor upturn with two first-summer Black-tailed Godwits spending a day on the Scrape at Summer Leys LNR on 4th and two Jack Snipes at Hollowell Res on 3rd, with at least one still present there on 5th.

Topping the bill on the Larid front – and unmatched for sheer summer elegance – were two adult Mediterranean Gulls at Stanwick GP, on and off, between 5th and 7th. They have bred there in the past but they have also turned up in spring and subsequently moved on …

The week’s quota of Caspian Gulls included a second-summer and a first-winter at DIRFT 3 on 2nd, with a first-winter present there on 6th. A first-winter also visited Ravensthorpe Res on 5th. Yellow-legged Gulls included the lingering adult which continued to patrol the dam/sailing club area at Pitsford Res until at least 4th, while a second-winter visited Wicksteed Park Lake on 3rd.

An unconfirmed report of a White Stork flying east over Oundle during the afternoon of 6th remained just that, with attempts to track it down amounting to nothing and there were no further sightings.

Sightings of Ospreys, however, continued to dominate all things raptorial throughout the period and included singles at Hollowell on 1st, 3rd and 6th, one at Kelmarsh on 4th and further singles over Daventry CP and Lilbourne Meadows NR on 6th. Meanwhile, the Nene Valley played short-term host to one or more Marsh Harriers, with singles over both Irthlingborough and Thrapston GP’s Titchmarsh LNR on 3rd, followed by a third-year male at Summer Leys on 7th.

The 7th also saw the southern periphery of Daventry producing the area’s second scarcity of the week – a Black Redstart – unfortunately at a site with ‘no public access’ (as is the current vernacular for ‘you can’t go and see it’). Other commoner relatives were also available, although with a rather meagre offering of two Northern Wheatears at the northern end of nearby Borough Hill on the same date.


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