Shag at Pitsford

Yesterday, in the early evening murk, Neil McMahon found a juvenile Shag on the valve tower off the dam at Pitsford Reservoir. This is, so far, the only record in Northants this year. Shag is virtually an annual visitor to the County. The vast majority are juveniles and most occur during autumn and winter. Sometimes there are multiple arrivals and ten at Pitsford in autumn 1996 was noteworthy. In the last two weeks Shags have also visited Oxfordshire, Staffordshire and Warwickshire. Probably the most ‘famous’ Shag in recent years was the long-staying and approachable individual at the unlikely location of Abington Park Lake, Northampton, between December 2006 and February 2007. The Pitsford bird was still present this morning. Here is the best of a bad bunch of photos I took in poor light at around 07.30.

Juvenile Shag, Pitsford Res, 21st September 2011 (Mike Alibone)