Sunday, 30 September 2012

Finches and things

Hi

Some of the county ringers were active over the week-end.  John Woollett and team processed 77 birds at Stortons GP today which included a Water Rail, a Chiffchaff, 4 Blackcaps, 2 Reed Warblers and a Siskin. 

Some ringers are reporting particularly large numbers of Greenfinches and Goldfinches coming to garden feeders where ringing provides some idea of the true numbers involved.  After a couple of difficult years for the Greenfinch which has been suffering from avian diseases, this upturn in numbers is very welcome.  A ringer operating in South Northants has ringed over 300 Greenfinches in his garden this year including some 177 during this month alone!  The same ringer has caught and ringed over 300 Goldfinches this year in the garden too.  I hate to think how much he is spending on sunflower hearts and niger seed!

But are these birds simply the adults and offspring of local breeding stock or from further afield?  Hopefully some of these birds will be recorded again and provide the answer.

Birds noted today included 2 Ravens in Lamport village, 3 Crossbills in the Walgrave Bay at Pitsford Res late morning (in trees between Christies Copse and West Hide) and a drake Red-crested Pochard and a drake Mandarin Duck at Ravensthorpe Res.

Regards

Neil M

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Blueberry

Hi

At Blueberry Farm, Maidwell this morning there was a male Stonechat partnered with a Whinchat in the northern-most field along the central ditch.

Other birds included 2 Red Kites, 2 Barn Owls and 3 Ravens.  South-bound passerines included Meadow Pipits, a Grey Wagtail, Skylarks and Swallows and House Martins.

Neil M

Pitsford waterfowl

Hi

It is not the best time of the year to photograph local waterfowl.  Most of the adults are still in eclipse plumage, a term of 'out of plumage' is sometimes used by birders, and the young birds of the year have yet to acquire their first adult plumage finery.  Nevertheless I had a go this morning at photographing some of the common birds at Pitsford in rather poor light conditions.  All the below images were taken from the Walgrave West Hide...




Gadwall female






Gadwall male




Pochard female





Pochard female





Pochard male





Pochard male





Shoveler male





Great Crested Grebe adult




Gadwall pair

 

Friday, 28 September 2012

Harrington and Pitsford

Hi

Birds noted at Harrington Airfield this morning included a Short-eared Owl, a female Stonechat, 5 Redwings over south and singles of Yellow and Grey Wagtail also over south.

At Pitsford Res this evening the Black-necked Grebe was still present off the yacht club as was the Caspian Gull.

Some images from Pitsford below, courtesy of Robin Gossage...

E & N




Black-necked and Little Grebe





Great Crested Grebe
 





Meadow Pipit

 

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Sywell CP

Hi

Birds at Sywell Country Park this afternoon amounted to 2 drake Red-crested Pochard (the Pitsford birds?), 2 Grey Wagtails, a Kingfisher, a Common Sandpiper and 12 Siskins.

Regards

Eleanor

Pitsford

Hi

Some ringing in the Walgrave Bay at Pitsford Res was accomplished this morning with 56 birds caught and released.  Birds processed included 6 Chiffchaffs, a couple of Goldcrests and a Blackcap.

There were plenty more Goldcrests and Chiffchaffs and several Blackcaps in the bushes, together with at least 3 Marsh Tits and a Willow Tit.  Moving migrants included a Grey Wagtail, a couple of Yellow Wagtails, c10 Siskins, 2 redpoll sp and relatively small numbers of Meadow Pipits and 'alba' wagtails.  Two Kingfishers were careering around the margins.

Plenty of dragonflies were still on the wing, mostly Ruddy Darters and Migrant Hawkers but also a late Brown Hawker.

A Rock Pipit flew high south over Hanging Houghton at about 3.15pm (calling well).

Neil M

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Blueberry and Pitsford

Hi

At Blueberry Farm this evening there were 2 Short-eared Owls, 2 Barn Owls, a Hobby, a pair of Stonechat plus a redpoll sp and 2 Crossbills over.

At Pitsford Res this evening it was much the same with the Caspian Gull still present off the yacht club, the 1st winter Little Gull was still present as also was the Black-necked Grebe (in yacht bay).

Regards

E & N

Harrington a.m.

Hi

A walk around Harrington Airfield this morning was a little disappointing as the weather conditions looked good for finding something a little different.  As it was the best birds were a female Stonechat, 18 Golden Plovers, 3 Blackcaps and southbound singles of Siskin, Grey Wagtail and Yellow Wagtail.

Regards

E & N

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Birds of a grey day...

Hi

A trundle out to Welford Reservoir between the showers this afternoon provided a Grey Wagtail, a Snipe and a Kingfisher.  The water level and that of adjacent Sulby Reservoir are at their maximum level.  Naseby Reservoir was quiet and also full of water.  Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests were in good numbers and all decent hedges and bushes seemed to hold them.  House Martins were in good numbers at the local reservoirs today and the dominant migrating hirindine.

A return to Pitsford Reservoir this evening confirmed the continued presence of the Caspian Gull, the Little Gull and the Arctic Tern and the Common Tern.  Also visible was the Black-necked Grebe again and a 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull.

E & N




Grey Wagtail





Little Grebe














House Martins






Black-necked Grebe

 

A breezy morning at Pitsford and Harrington!

Hi

Birds at Harrington Airfield this morning included a juvenile Marsh Harrier, a male Peregrine, 2 Grey Partridges, 2 Ravens, a Wheatear, a pair of Stonechat, a Blackcap and still 2 Whitethroats.  Finches moving over included a Brambling, a redpoll sp and 8 Siskins.

Birds visible from the yacht club at Pitsford Res this morning involved the Caspian Gull still, a 1st winter Little Gull, an Arctic Tern, a Common Tern and a male Peregrine.

Regards

E & N

Monday, 24 September 2012

Pitsford today

Hi

The highlight of a very wet morning at Pitsford Reservoir was a glimpse of an Otter in the Walgrave Bay.

This afternoon the 4th winter Caspian Gull was again present off the yacht club and the moulting adult Black-necked Grebe was at the mouth of the yacht bay near to the pontoons.  Also present were two 1st year Arctic Terns and two 1st year Common Terns and several lateish Sand Martins amongst the hirundines.

Regards

Neil M

Further images from Titchwell

Hi

Robin Gossage has kindly forwarded some additional images from the NBC trip to Titchwell (RSPB reserve on the Norfolk coast) yesterday.  The majority of the images on this blog are low resolution but prints from Robin are available at a higher resolution.  If you would like a print from a blog picture, please contact me or the photographer credited with the image.

It really was a day of birds from all seasons with quite a number of summer migrants about but also plenty of birds normally associated with winter.  There were already thousands of Pink-footed Geese in the stubble fields adjacent to the coast road, Brent Geese passing by over the sea and Bramblings and Redwing dropping in.

Regards

Neil M















Sunday, 23 September 2012

Norfolk birding

Hi

A short day out today with other members of the Northants Bird Club to Norfolk was a pleasant change of scenery, even if the rain brought things to an early conclusion.

Birds of note included at least 3 Lapland Buntings, a Yellow-browed Warbler (with another heard) and a Red-breasted Flycatcher, with a supporting cast of  Pied Flycatcher, skuas, Marsh Harrier, Spoonbill etc.

A few images from Titchwell are below...

Neil M





Bearded Tits





Distant image of Chinese Water Deer (note tusks)






Black-tailed Godwit





Redshank





Little Egret

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Saturday birds

Hi 

A Short-eared Owl was sunning itself in one of the field hedges adjacent to the southern-most field at Blueberry Farm this morning.

A ringing session in the Scaldwell Bay at Pitsford Res this morning was responsible for the capture and release of 55 birds, with Goldcrest being the most numerous species captured.  Warblers included Reed Warbler, Chiffchaff and Blackcap.

Migrants noted passing over included several Siskins, a Grey Wagtail and plenty of Meadow Pipits.  Migrants on the deck included a Yellow Wagtail and a Dunlin.

Regards

E & N





Kingfisher





Goldcrest





Ruddy Darter

Friday, 21 September 2012

Pitsford Gull Roost

Hi

Despite interesting weather conditions this evening the gull roost at Pitsford Res didn't provide any surprises.  The Caspian Gull was again present plus just a single adult Yellow-legged Gull and a Common Tern.

Regards

Neil M

Harrington am

Hi

Birds at Harrington Airfield this morning included a Turtle Dove, a Spotted Flycatcher and 2 Whitethroats.  Most birds were by the concrete track near to the small bean field.  There were good numbers of Linnets and Goldfinches and the Skylarks are beginning to flock up now too.

Regards

Eleanor

Thursday, 20 September 2012

A brief foray to Pitsford

Hi

Birds in the Walgrave Bay at Pitsford Res this afternoon included the two drake Red-crested Pochards (where were they when we did the WeBS count yesterday?).  Other birds included 4 Crossbills feeding in larches in Christies Copse plus several Siskins.

Regards

Eleanor

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Pitsford

Hi

Today a WeBS count was completed at Pitsford Res but only small numbers of wetland birds were present.  A Caspian Gull was present in the Walgrave Bay, a Black-necked Grebe was present just off the dam and a Red Kite sauntered over the nature reserve.  Other birds included a Common Tern, a Goldeneye and a continuous southward movement of Siskins and Meadow Pipits.

The best big bird of the day was the Avro Vulcan displaying over the reservoir, sometimes in tandem with a Spitfire and the local demonstration team The Blades!

At least one Nuthatch visited the garden today and 2 Ravens played in the airspace overhead for a short time.

Regards

E & N

(photos by Neil Hasdell)






Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Chats about it!

Hi

Birds at Harrington Airfield this morning included 3 Ravens, 2 Wheatears, 2 Crossbills, 2 Whitethroats, a Blackcap, a Hobby and a strong movement south of hirundines and Meadow Pipits.

South of the causeway at Pitsford Res today provided 2 Whinchats, 2 Grey Wagtails and 6+ Siskins.

Blueberry Farm attracted a pair of Stonechat (the most southerly field still), 2 Whinchats (the most northerly field), 2+ Ravens, a Red Kite, a migrating Osprey heading high south east, a Hobby, a Barn Owl, a family party of Grey Partridges (about 7 youngsters) and a strong passage of Meadow Pipits and Siskins.

Birds around the garden at Hanging Houghton were much the same with 2 Ravens, 2 Nuthatches, a Hobby and several Siskins.

Regards

Eleanor

Monday, 17 September 2012

Blue-winged Teal

Hi

In respect of the last blog, below are some images of Blue-winged Teal taken in Canada in 2009 (for bill comparison).  Please be aware these images are of a pair in spring, wheareas the bird at Daventry appears to be a bird of the year...

Neil M