This morning saw us venture to the Daventry area and our first venue was Borough Hill Country Park. It was murky and drizzly, sometimes ideal conditions for locating downed migrants, but not today! There were no birds of note, the nature highlight perhaps being the fabulous swathes of Harebells which grow liberally amongst the rough pasture here.
A walk next around Daventry Country Park and a similar story again. Like many reservoirs at this time of the year, viewing the water and margins is difficult due to the extensive vegetation, and apart from a Nuthatch and very good numbers of Cormorants and Common Terns, no birds of note were seen.
Next then to Catesby, a rural location between the villages of Staverton and Hellidon which is surely the best place in the county to see Raven. We were not disappointed with at least 23 very active and vocal birds showing well. They played out the traditional game of 'annoy/intimidate the local Common Buzzards' and rolled and 'cronked' in their usual manner. Also present was a Hobby, a Little Owl and 1-2 Kingfisher(s).
Fawsley Park hosted a family party of Spotted Flycatcher, a Little Owl, a Green Sandpiper and a calling Water Rail.
A brief stop at Ravensthorpe Res this afternoon was sufficient to see a female Red-crested Pochard and an adult Yellow-legged Gull. Nearby at Hollowell Res, the water is beginning to recede and provided just enough in the way of muddy margins to attract an Oystercatcher and a Common Sandpiper.
On returning home we found our buddleias alive with freshly-emerged Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell butterflies, no doubt they will enjoy the next forecast period of sunny and warm weather!
E & N (pics below)
Adult Black-headed Gull in post-breeding moult