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Mike Alibone



69 thoughts on “Contact

  1. Just want to say what a brilliant site…well done! Thank you also for all the hard work that obviously went into keeping the old one up to date…even though Waxwings in south Northants managed to evade me all winter!! Am I the only person not to have found them?

  2. Hello there Mike,
    I’ve been in touch with Ebernezer Coles recently and he mentioned that there was some good stuff on County birds on the net. Great site, one of these days i’ll maybe find something else to contribute in the sightings section. I’m still in the County for a couple of days a week at Charwelton but mainly back on the Island. Still waiting for one of you old timers to find me a 2RS!

  3. Hi Mike,
    I thought you might like to know that Seatrack, the Irish seabird survey, starts again next weekend and continues every other weekend until early November. I will be covering Bloody Foreland, a headland in North Donegal, again this year. The principal aim of the survey is to track Balearics around the Irish coast. We dont get many this far North, only two sightings last year, but we get good numbers of Sooties, petrels and skuas, including the occasional Long-tailed, and also sometimes Sabines Gulls. Can’t wait!
    All the best

    1. Hi Chris,

      Good to hear from you. Exciting part of the world these days. It’s been a long time since I did any seawatching – I’ll have to remedy that soon! Cheers Mike

  4. Thanks for your work on this site, Mike and also the old site over the years. I don’t get as much time for birding as I’d like, but when I have half a day to spare my starting point is invariably “Northants Birds” to see what is passing through. The trends you identify over time are fascinating too.

  5. Hi Mike,
    Thought you would like to hear of the geese we have in Donegal at present. 7 goose species in one stubble field! As well as c.1800 Whoopers, c.1000 Greylags and c.200 Canadas there are 5 Tundra Beans, a Snow Goose, 3 Barnacles, 6 Pinkfeet and 2 (probably European) Whitefronts. Elsewhere on Lough Swilly is the resident wintering flock of c.500 Greenland Whitefronts and c.300 Brents

  6. As you seemed to be happy for people to contact you, I followed you on Twitter, but you don’t seem to respond to tweets from people you are not following, so I have now unfollowed you.

    1. Hi Sarah,

      if someone emails or tweets me I will always respond (but not if it is spam which, like most of us, I ignore of course) unless for some reason I have overlooked the initial contact. As you know, when a subscriber to Twitter is either mentioned in a tweet, or is messaged directly or openly via another subscriber, Twitter sends a message to the recipient, who receives it either in the form of an email or a text on a mobile phone. I receive messages from Twitter in both formats. In this instance I received no communications in any form from yourself (I would have responded!). What’s worrying is that yesterday I discovered quite by chance that someone else had sent me a tweet which I did not receive – so that makes two missed contacts. I have no explanation for why this has (not) happened! Apart from monitoring Twitter 24/7 I can’t see a way around it. Hopefully it was just a glitch and it won’t happen again. Do feel free to contact me on – which appears (at present)to be more reliable! Sorry I can’t be more helpful at this stage!

  7. Mike has anyone seen waxwings in housing estate at the back of wye vale garden centre on Newport pagnell road yet last two years there have been lots.

  8. Hi Mike,

    I recently came across your site during a search on bird information in Northants. It’s very useful and I’ve started following you. I’m not specifically a birder though I do enjoy watching them and have a research interest in birds as pollinators. I thought you might be interested in a couple of my blog posts about the Nene Valley Nature Improvement Area, which you may be aware of. We are working with the Wildlife Trust, RSPB, etc. on this large project and our focus at the University of Northampton is on the ecosystem services that the Nene Valley is providing, one of which is cultural services via birding and other nature-focused hobbies. Here are the links:

    All the best,


    Jeff Ollerton
    Professor of Biodiversity
    University of Northampton

    1. Jeff,

      Many thanks for your comments. I followed the two links, above, and read with interest. The biggest problem facing the NIA scheme is man. Public access to the sites within the area is at an all time high and pressure on habitats continues to increase as a high proportion of ‘visitors’ have no regard for wildlife and are woefully ignorant of the disturbance they cause. Limiting access – or at least providing more on site restrictions – to the ‘Nene Washlands’ (by which I believe you mean ‘Clifford Hill Gravel Pits’, or the ‘Nene Barrage’) must surely be high on the agenda of such an initiative and I would be interested to learn how this will be achieved within the framework of the scheme.

      Regards, Mike.

  9. Hi Mike,

    People are certainly a big issue, but then the Nene Valley is a very human-dominated landscape in all sorts of ways. Hopefully the scope of the NIA means that we can think about these issues across the whole system and look at where conservation gains can be made. The recent Irthlingborough reserve purchased by the Wildlife Trust is a good example, as are the meadow restoration projects that some farmers are involved in .

    In relation to visitor access to reserves. one of the NIA partners is the RSPB which is looking at visitor pressure across the region and with a view to developing ideas for reducing their impact. It’s still early days and we’ll see what they come up with.

    Just to clarify, that was indeed the area I was referring to though I didn’t call it the “Nene Washlands” rather the Northampton Washlands which I think is the accepted name for the whole area of which Clifford Hill and the Barrage are a part.

    I went up to Storton’s Pits earlier in the week to look for the waxwings but they had gone, which was a shame. I’m hoping more will come through.



  10. On the 13.12.2013 on this site I see you mention a ringneck , could it of been my nephews parakeet

    Please spread the word either way and get in touch if you or anyone has any info 07745548198 adds/posts re her all over the net. She also has her own Facebook and Twitter account , her twitter is @FINDPEPPA, she may of made her way back to grange park

    1. Ring-necked Parakeets breed in Northamptonshire but they are scarce. We have no way of knowing if the Grange Park bird was form the wild (= feral) UK population of if it is an escape. If you have lost one in the Grange Park area then the record on 13th December is likely to relate to your bird.

  11. If you / anyone saw it you could , as mutations such as blues/ lavenders etc are not known to be loose in northants apart from escaped pets which peppa is the only blue from that area we know of . She is my nephews parakeet and there’s photos of her on there . Only greens and olives breed loose in surrounding areas

  12. Parakeet spotted in Abington park along with a kingfisher at 12:05 and was waiting there for around 10/15 minutes

  13. Hi – I have found a small pocket notebook of bird records at Stourton’s Pits Northampton today (07/03/2014). Looks like it had been accidentally dropped. Please contact me if you are missing a notebook and would like to retrieve it! :

  14. Further to the sighting of a Great White Egret at Summer Leys, I have seen one this morning at Emerson Valley Park in Milton Keynes. I wonder if it is the same one.


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  16. Any news on the Red necked grebe, I’m not familiar with daventry cp , if it’s still there would I be likely to be able to spot it with just a pair of bins?



    1. Sorry for late response. Best to use direct email. R-n Grebes – no reports in last 24 hours. You would need a ‘scope to see them from dam if they are at the far (southern) end.

  17. Mike
    Have there been any reports of a pair of Peregrines near the lift tower?
    Saw two on Wednesday. Cheers

  18. Mike – just seen a pair of Wood Ducks at Blisworth Arm canal junction ( by the Marina ). The one I could see properly had a yellow tag on his leg. Does this signify a migrant or an escapee ?

    Malcolm Platt

    1. See Clifford Hill GP on the maps page and there are 3 access points on the map. There are options to enter from north-east, south-west or south-east sides. If you’re up to climbing over the fence, then park in, or near, the Hungry Horse pub car park on the Bedford Road, walk across the small car park of the adjacent office building and hop over the fence and ditch at the bottom of it.

  19. Wondered if you could identify a bird I saw yesterday. I was swimming at the holiday Inn crick and the bird was on the grass outside the glass wall. Quite tall black body and beak with a red and white head. I haven’t seen a biRd like it before. Similar in stature to a heron.

  20. Mike,
    I went to see the Cattle Egret at Summerleys this morning. While watching it, a guy who I didn’t recognize, showed me back-of-the-camera pictures of a juvenile Gannet, which had dropped on to the main lake, right in front of the main hide. He said it then moved off down towards the feeding station, but I couldn’t find it. He did not see it depart from the area. The time he saw it would have been about 10am or so.
    Cheers, Richard Eden

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