Last week’s unsettled conditions continued and again the influence was mainly from the west. Common Crane and Black-necked Grebe were the period’s headliners.
There was no change to the wildfowl line-up, with the female Ruddy Shelduck apparently ensconced at Hollowell Res, while the eclipse drake Red-crested Pochard remained at Pitsford Res until at least 5th.
Lacking the splendour of adult finery but making up for it in a generous length of stay, two juvenile Black-necked Grebes were found on the main lake at Summer Leys on 6th, remaining on view there throughout the rest of the period. July records are exceedingly rare for this species in Northamptonshire.
Just along the Nene Valley, Stanwick GP’s Bittern showed again briefly on 4th, while up to four Cattle Egrets – three adults and a juvenile – were present there between 6th and 9th while, continuing their summer run this year, Great Egrets were at Stanford Res on 9th and up to two were again at Hollowell Res on 4th-5th.
Hollowell also continued to produce fishing Ospreys, where there were singles on 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th, while singles were over Harrington AF on 4th, Pitsford on 5th, Thrapston GP on 9th and Deene Lake on 10th.
Fast gaining a reputation for becoming suburban fly-overs, 2 Common Cranes were seen heading south-west over Duston (Northampton) on 7th. Now with three similar reports so far this year, it’s worth noting the last ones on the ground were two at Stanford Res, briefly, on 9th April 2017.
Hot on the heels of the autumn’s first, last week, five more Whimbrels flew south-west at Stanford on 10th, while Black-tailed Godwits continued to move through in numbers, with up to twenty-four Icelandic race birds at Summer Leys on 6th, when eight also visited Pitsford. Eight flew south at Clifford Hill GP on 7th, three visited Earls Barton GP on 8th and nine dropped into Summer Leys on 10th. There were no other waders of note but it’s still early days.
The Mediterranean Gull count at Stanwick peaked with five, including three adults, on 4th but it all went downhill from thereon, with just one adult present on 9th. An adult also visited Stanford on 6th. Other loafing larids were a third-summer Yellow-legged Gull at Stanwick on 4th, the second-summer still at Hollowell on the same date and an adult there the following day. Surprisingly, a Little Tern flew straight through at Stanford on 6th.
Last week’s male Common Redstart remained at Harrington all week, another male appeared at Foxholes Fisheries, Crick on 8th and a male plus two female/juveniles were found near Brockhall on 10th.
Crossbill numbers picked up again this week with Bucknell Wood producing more than twenty, Wakerley Great Wood a dozen, Thrapston GP three and Weldon and Hollowell singles. This is the best time to catch up with one …