Friday, 30 November 2012

Winter is around the corner!

Hi

A cold but pleasant day today but with encroaching freezing fog this evening.  Hello the winter!

Today there were a couple of Bramblings in the garden here at Hanging Houghton with several Siskins and 2 Nuthatches close by.  An adult male Peregrine was in the Brampton Valley below Hanging Houghton this morning and a Barn Owl was hunting at Blueberry Farm this afternoon.

Dave Francis was ringing at Pitsford Res at the old Scaldwell Road feeding station and caught 36 new birds which included 10 Goldfinches, 4 Chaffinches, 3 Lesser Redpolls, 3 Tree Sparrows, 3 Yellowhammers, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Moorhen.

Regards

Eleanor

Thursday, 29 November 2012

WeBS (Wetland Bird Survey) Counts

Hi

During most months of the year, volunteer birdwatchers visit key wetland sites around the country in an effort to count and record the numbers of waterbirds present.  Northamptonshire is no different with its wealth of flooded gravel pits, significant inland river systems, lakes and reservoirs attracting plenty of birds, sometimes in nationally important numbers.  The county is well-represented with counters, many stalwarts enduring a variety of conditions for many years to visit their sites and count the swans, geese, ducks, gulls, waders and Kingfisher.

Most counts are submitted on-line and there are opportunities to complete further supplementary counts in addition to core counts.  Examples might be dusk/dawn counts of Cormorant or gulls which tend to roost communally.

The WeBS process is managed by a partnership between the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), the Joint Nature Conservancy Committee (JNCC) and the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT).

An annual report is published which provides indices of some of the more significant species counts and endeavours to summarise the year and plot the health of the relevant counted species.  Because this is a consistent process which has been in being for more than thirty years, the data and and species assessments are credible and impossible to ignore.  The latest report, which includes the data for the 2010/11 season has recently been released. 

Pitsford Reservoir attracts nationally important numbers of Little and Great Crested Grebe, Pochard, Tufted Duck and Shoveler.  Clifford Hill GP is nationally important for Mallard, which may include the numbers which are released for shooting at or near the site.  Up until recent years, Clifford Hill attracted nationally important numbers of Golden Plovers which reflected this species dependence on the Nene Valley and adjacent farmland.  Excessive disturbance has clearly affected this site's ability to now provide the effective loafing and gathering of this charismatic species and positive action is required.

Scarcer species in nationally important numbers within the county places Blatherwycke Lake on the map for Mandarin Duck and Ravensthorpe Res, Pitsford Res, Thrapston GP and Stanwick GP for Smew which now seem to enjoy the East Midlands and Cambridgeshire as their favoured wintering region within the UK.  Thrapston GP also featured for Red-crested Pochard, with a high count of 14 on one date affecting the mean average.  Ditchford GP is consistently in the top three in the country for Kingfisher, the combination of different flooded pits, the River Nene and a variety of streams providing the necessary variety for this species. 

Moorhens have seemingly suffered significant mortality during the last two cold winters and their numbers locally and nationally are depleted.  Despite this, Pitsford remains nationally important for this species (and Stanwick GP features too) and is the 10th most important for Coot.  Gadwall numbers in the county are generally high with most sites attracting this species in significant numbers.  Due in part to a very high count of 1044 in October 2010, Pitsford is currently recognised as a site of international importance for this species.  Sadly the counts have been much lower since.

The winter of 2010/2011 was the coldest for 35 years, which nationally resulted in increased numbers of Eurasian White-fronted Geese, some waders and Smew.  It also ensured that Golden Plover and Shoveler left the UK for warmer climes.  More long-term trends are worrying for some species with an international reduction in Long-tailed Ducks by at least 20% and Velvet Scoter, Pochard and Goldeneye suffering continual declines. The reasons are not proven but climate change, eutrophication and human activity pressures are the most likely.  Ringed Plover numbers continue to tumble and even Common and Lesser Black-backed Gull numbers are showing a consistent decline.  On the plus side, the Little Egret population is at least stable and may still be increasing.

Getting out there and committing to WeBS counting has its rewards!  Occasionally we find something rare or interesting and it ensures that you tend to look in every nook and cranny; it certainly improves on your local knowledge and its birds.  The bigger sites attract multiple counters so it is a great way to improve mentored identification and as strange as it sounds, bird counting skills!  If you fancy a go let us know and we can facilitate your WeBS involvement with the local coordinator.

E & N

Merlin and Barn Owl

Hi

At about 7.40am this morning a Merlin was observed in flight towards Brixworth village from the direction of the causeway at Pitsford Res.

News has come through of the origins of the hunting colour-ringed Barn Owl seen at Pitsford Res last week.  It was a juvenile from a nest at Blueberry Farm, Maidwell, one of a late brood on site this year.

Regards

Neil M

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Finches and things

Hi

At Pitsford Res this morning there were 4 redpoll sps, a few Siskins and a Brambling present south of the causeway.

At Blueberry Farm this afternoon there were 2 Woodcock and a hunting Barn Owl.

A ringing session at Kelmarsh Hall today was productive with 118 birds caught, 68 of which were new.  Birds caught included a Brambling (with small numbers of others present), 11 Siskins, 8 Lesser Redpolls, 23 Goldfinches, 2 Nuthatches and 2 Marsh Tits.  A selection of images are below.  A vocal Raven was present for much of the afternoon.

E & N




Siskin








A selection of Lesser Redpolls





Goldfinch






Brambling





Great Tit





Blue Tit
















                                Nuthatch






Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Siskins, but not much else!

Hi

A visit to Sywell CP today provided about 30 Siskins and at least a dozen 'redpolls'.  The strong wind meant these birds were being tossed around in the small trees and observations were difficult.

About half a dozen Siskins were at both Sunderland Wood and Kelmarsh Hall this afternoon, with small numbers of Lesser Redpolls at the latter.

At Pitsford Res this evening the only different bird on view off the yacht club was a single Redshank, a species which has been very scarce this autumn/winter.

Regards

E & N

Monday, 26 November 2012

Harlestone Heath

Hi

I took a walk around Harlestone Heath this afternoon but didn't find much that was any different.  Finches included 40 Siskins, 2-3 Bramblings (by the saw mills) and half a dozen unidentified redpolls.  No sign of any Crossbills or Waxwings but a few Nuthatches are currently in residence.

Regards

Eleanor

Pitsford birds (what few there are)!

Hi

This morning the Black-necked Grebe and Kingfisher were again off the yacht club at Pitsford Res.  At the old Scaldwell Road feeding station, birds included a Lesser Redpoll and a Water Rail.

At 12.30pm today there were 3 Bramblings visible amongst other birds on the seed at Harrington Airfield, on the concrete track just inside the metal barrier off the Draughton Road.

Regards

Neil M

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Mediterranean Gull

Hi

Despite being out for much of the day in flooded Northamptonshire, we collectively saw very little today.

There was probably about half a dozen each of Lesser Redpoll and Siskin at Kelmarsh Hall this afternoon.

The Pitsford Res gull roost provided the opportunity of seeing an adult Mediterranean Gull again, in all probability the same individual that has wintered in this immediate area for quite a number of years now.  There was a Kingfisher near to the Yacht Club and a Barn Owl was again hunting near the dam at dusk.

Regards

Neil M

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Ringing at Pitsford

Hi

Dave Francis and John Kempster were ringing at Pitsford Res this morning and yesterday afternoon, concentrating on the old Scaldwell Road feeding station.  A colour-ringed Barn Owl was hunting the Scaldwell Meadow yesterday evening.

Birds caught included 13 Long-tailed Tits, 7 Chaffinches, 5 Tree Sparrows (which included a bird still in juvenile plumge), 5 Blackbirds, a Fieldfare, 4 Yellowhammers and a Lesser Redpoll.

N & E

Ringing Kelmarsh Hall

Hi

A short ringing session took place at Kelmarsh Hall this morning which provided 78 captures, mostly of tits and common finches.  Scarcer birds included a fine Grey Wagtail, 2 Lesser Redpolls and 2 Goldcrests.

Other birds noted included a single Waxwing which flew north at 9.44am, several Siskins and other Lesser Redpolls and the usual routine woodland birds.

Rergards

Neil M

 
Grey Wagtail

 
Lesser Redpoll (or 'Goldpoll'!)

Friday, 23 November 2012

Not much to report...

Hi

A couple of Ravens were in the Brampton Valley below Hanging Houghton today and at Harrington Airfield this afternoon there were 4 Bramblings on the seed, a single Raven and a Short-eared Owl.

Regards

Eleanor

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Pitsford & Harrington

Hi

A WeBS census was completed at Pitsford Res today in increasingly windy conditions, but at least the rain held off!

It seemed quiet with only modest numbers of waterbirds and little that was out of the ordinary.  The Black-necked Grebe was sheltering in the yacht bay at dusk, a few Crossbills and a Nuthatch were heard calling in the Walgrave Bay early this morning and a Little Egret flew over the causeway.  Other birds included eleven unidentified and flighty redpolls, forty Snipe and there were three drake Pintail in the Scaldwell Bay.

At Harrington Airfield this morning the female Merlin was present with prey and up to seven Bramblings were feeding on the seed by the concrete track entrance.

Regards

E & N

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

What weather!

Hi

With the somewhat challenging weather conditions today it wasn't a day that was easy to go birdwatching!  So a day of chores and restocking the wild bird feeding stations which meant we both managed to become drenched a couple of times!

At the gull roost at Pitsford Res this afternoon, there were two Mediterranean Gulls on show - an adult and a 1st Winter.

Regards

N & E

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Mediterranean Gull

Hi

The only bird of note today was a Mediterranean Gull in the gull roost at Pitsford Res this afternoon.  It was either a second winter or adult bird.

Regards

Neil M

Monday, 19 November 2012

Kingfisher tab

Hi

I recommend a look at the above Kingfisher at Work tab, courtesy of John Boland...

Our thanks to John's skill and patience!

Regards

Neil M

Waxwings and friends!

Hi

A visit to Sywell Country Park this morning provided a flock of six Waxwings briefly by the main car park at about 10.30am.  There were also at least 12 Lesser Redpolls present and I had a poor view of a larger and paler 'redpoll' with them but the light was awful and the whole flock was typically flighty.  Siskins seem to be everywhere at the minute and there were a good 100+ present.  A couple of Grey Wagtails were also there.

John Woollett and his ringing team enjoyed a good session at Stortons Gravel Pits yesterday, catching 80 birds of which 45 were new.  Highlights included a new Water Rail, a Brambling and 6 Lesser Redpolls.  No Waxwing though!

Regards

Eleanor

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Classic November birds

Hi

Birding at Harrington Airfield this morning provided the female Merlin again, a Peregrine, a Short-eared Owl and 6 Bramblings and at least 12 Grey Partridges.

Also this morning the Black-necked Grebe was still present at Pitsford Res just off the dam and at 1pm the Great White Egret was on show between the Holcot and Walgrave Bays.  A flock of 50+ Siskins were present at Brixworth Country Park.

A ringing session at Sunderland Wood (Kelmarsh Estate) produced 62 captures which included a Great Spotted Woodpecker and 4 Nuthatches but with the majority of bird being tits.  Interestingly of 23 Great Tits caught only 3 were birds born this year, another indicator of the very poor breeding season for this and allied species.  Another interesting capture was of an adult Blue Tit which was ringed in our garden at Hanging Houghton in September. Clearly it has decided that our many garden feeders were not to it's satisfaction and moved on up to Kelmarsh!

Regards

N & E

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Just a few sightings today...

Hi

This morning a single Brambling was in the Brampton Valley below Hanging Houghton, and at 11.25am a Crossbill flew east over Sunderland Wood (Kelmarsh Estate).

This afternoon there were 2 Barn Owls hunting in the northern-most field at Blueberry Farm, Maidwell.

Regards

Neil M

Friday, 16 November 2012

Owls about!

Hi

Despite standing around for over an hour at lunchtime today, I failed to see the Waxwings at the Homebase depot, on the Weedon Road, Northampton.  Others on site reported that they hadn't shown since 9am.  Some Starlings were consuming the rather sparse Rowan berries in the car park so I'm not sure there will be many left for the Waxwings!

The Black-necked Grebe was present off the yacht club at Pitsford Res this afternoon.

A hike around Blueberry Farm this afternoon was sufficient to locate a Short-eared Owl, 2 Barn Owls and a Woodcock.

Other Barn Owls noticed during the last few evenings have been by the dam at Pitsford Res and at the roadside between the villages of Old and Lamport.

Regards

Neil M

Harrington

Hi

A wander around Harrington Airfield in very grey conditions this morning was worth it with plenty of birds around the bushes.  Thrushes and finches dominated.  The best birds included a brief view of a/the female Merlin, 1-2 Woodcock, 40-50 Golden Plovers, 4 Bramblings and 9 Siskins.

Regards

N & E

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Foggy Pitsford!

Hi

Yesterday afternoon and this morning Dave Francis completed another ringing session at the Pitsford Res feeding station on the old Scaldwell Road.  Amongst 58 captures there were 45 new birds.  Species totals included 12 Greenfinches, 11 Goldfinches, 4 Chaffinches, a Brambling, 6 Tree Sparrows, 6 Yellowhammers, a Jay, a Redwing and a Fieldfare.

This morning Eleanor ran around the reservoir to the south of the causeway.  Visibility was virtually nil in the fog but she did hear Crossbills, Brambling, Siskins, redpolls, Kingfisher and Grey Wagtail!

Neil M

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Feed Stations

Hi

I spent most of the day today visiting and replenishing the eight wild bird feed stations that we manage with the support of colleagues.  These stations include suspended feeders as well as broadcast seed in an effort to try and support the species associated with the habitat.  Like yesterday it was remarkably mild out for the time of the year with large numbers of insects active in the sunshine!

At Harrington Airfield (one of the feeding stations) I met 'Dave' and 'Robin' who had been watching 3 Bramblings and 15 Grey Partridges enjoying the feast!  Robin had seen 2 Waxwings briefly in the top of a tree earlier today at Orlingbury Hall.

Regards

Neil M

Pitsford and Blueberry

Hi

This morning the Great White Egret was visible at Pitsford Res from the causeway from about 9.20am to 10am at least.  It was perched in waterside bushes with Grey Herons between the Holcot and Walgrave Bays.

A good circuit of the Blueberry Farm area near Maidwell this morning was mostly uneventful with just a Red Kite, 2 Ravens and small numbers of Siskins and redpoll sp to show for a couple of hours of wandering.

Sad news was received today of an Otter that was killed on the road causeway at Pitsford Res last week.  An examination of the corpse today suggested it was an adult female animal.

Regards

E & N

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Finches and things

Hi

A visit to Hollowell Reservoir today failed to find any particular birds of note.  Ravensthorpe Reservoir provided a female Red-crested Pochard and 3 Mandarin Ducks (2 drakes) which were visible from the causeway.

At Harlestone Heath this afternoon there were 100+ Siskins roaming around the trees with small numbers of unidentified redpolls.  Two Ring-necked Parakeets flew from the Lodge Farm area and overflew the rough area between Harlestone Heath and Kings Heath.

Three Bramblings were present at Harrington Airfield this morning.

Ringing at Kelmarsh Hall produced over 60 captures which included 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 3 Treecreepers, a Marsh Tit, a Willow Tit, a Brambling, 3 Lesser Redpolls and 11 Siskins.

Regards

E & N

Monday, 12 November 2012

Great White Egret

Hi

At about 9am this morning the Great White Egret was seen again at Pitsford Res in the Holcot Bay (Neil Hasdell and Sarah Gibbs were the observers), about 100 yards in to the bay from the Goosander Hide...

E & N

Pitsford birds

Hi

At Harrington Airfield this morning there were at least 10 Bramblings on the seed just inside the concrete track entrance.

At Pitsford Res there were at least 2 Bramblings and a couple of Lesser Redpolls at the feeding station plus lots of thrushes in the hedges.  South of the causeway the Dark-bellied Brent Goose, the Black-necked Grebe and a drake Smew were all situated between the dam and Yacht Bay.

Regards

Eleanor

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Pitsford Ringing

Hi

Ringing in the Scaldwell Bay at Pitsford Res during yesterday afternoon and again this morning produced a total of some 90 captures.  Some of the species and numbers involved included 20 Long-tailed Tits, 25 Goldcrests, 2 Willow Tits, 3 Bullfinches, a Song Thrush, a Fieldfare, 8 Blackbirds, 5 Redwings, 7 Robins and 2 Kingfishers.

There were a couple each of Lesser Redpoll in the Scaldwell Bay and at the feeding station, plus a few mobile Siskins moving around.

Regards

Neil M

Great White Egret

Hi

The Great White Egret at Pitsford Res has been showing well for much of the morning north of the causeway apparently (albeit that it has been quite mobile too).  I saw it at 1pm near to The Point and it was viewable from the feeding station and I guess the causeway too...

Neil M

Saturday, 10 November 2012

November status quo

Hi

A walk around part of Harrington Airfield this morning was pleasant but for the first day for a long time no visible migration was apparent.  At least one Brambling was still present as was a Willow Tit.  Common birds included plenty of Chaffinches and Woodpigeons and the Linnet flock remains.

Small numbers of Siskins were present at Sunderland Wood and Kelmarsh Hall (Kelmarsh Estate) this morning and there were 2 Bramblings and 2 redpoll sp at Hanging Houghton sewer works.

A ringing session took place in the Scaldwell Bay at Pitsford Res this afternoon (and will continue tomorrow morning) and new birds included 2 Kingfishers, 18 Goldcrests and 4 Redwings.  A couple of Willow Tits were in the back of the bay and the high water levels have attracted two vocal Water Rails.  Up to 4 Pintail were also present.  The creature of the day was possibly the superb queen Hornet disturbed in the Ringing Hut at Pitsford!

Regards

E & N

Friday, 9 November 2012

Local patches

Hi

There were still about six Bramblings on the feedstuff at Harrington Airfield this morning but otherwise it seemed quiet at this site.

At Pitsford Res today the Black-necked Grebe was again off the yacht club.  Other birds included a male Peregrine, and 2 Crossbills and a Brambling in the Christies Copse area (Walgrave Bay).

This afternoon there was a scaley immature Ring Ouzel in a hedge in the Brampton Valley below Hanging Houghton at about SP735740.

Despite a good yomp around much of the complex, I failed to find a single owl of any species at Blueberry Farm near Maidwell.  A Roe Deer was the only creature of note.

Regards

Eleanor

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Waxwings and others

Hi

At 2.30pm this afternoon five Waxwings flew fast and very low at Hanging Houghton, heading in a westerly direction and below the height of the houses.  Thankfully their trilling call provided us with the opportunity of seeing these birds before they disappeared at a remarkable speed.

On then to Pitsford Res but we failed to connect with the Great White Egret.  There were 4 Little Egrets on the Holcot Bay flood extension plus a Kingfisher and a Raven nearby and a Barn Owl was hunting the Scaldwell Meadow next to the Bird Club hide.

A hike along the Brixworth bank between the causeway and the dam was productive.  A flock of 4 Waxwings flew rapidly west (towards Brixworth) near to The Pigs at about 3.45pm.  Again their trilling call aided the observation.  Also present was a Dark-bellied Brent Goose, a 'redhead' Goosander and 2 drake Red-crested Pochards.  The Black-necked Grebe was still present just off the yacht club.

Sarah Gibbs (Pitsford Senior Reserves Officer) kindly sent through some images of a couple of interesting moths found in the moth trap at Pitsford Res this morning (see below).

Regards

E & N

 
Sprawler

 
Feathered Thorn


Bramblings!

Hi

A foray at Harrington Airfield this morning was interesting with about 15 Bramblings present and others seemingly arriving whilst I was walking around.  About eight were on the seed just inside the road entrance to the concrete track and others were on the track about another 400m further along.  The female Merlin was again present at the north-western end of the complex - she seemed interested in the good numbers of Skylarks that are slowly amassing on the top fields.  A Corn Bunting was in the rough strip/game cover off the concrete track that leads to the old airstrip.  Six Grey Partridges were also present.

Two Ravens and a Red Kite were between Beck Dairy and Gamboro' Plantation (Cottesbrooke) this morning and a female Red-crested Pochard was still at Ravensthorpe Res viewable from the causeway (12.50pm).

Eleanor

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

A quiet day in the county...

Hi

A short three hour ringing session at Kelmarsh Hall this morning was sufficient to catch 40 birds which included a Nuthatch, a Treecreeper, 12 Long-tailed Tits and 4 Goldcrests.  Other birds noted included a Kingfisher, 8 Siskins, 2 redpoll sp and 2 Bramblings.

A good yomp around the Blueberry Farm complex near Maidwell failed to find very much with just a Barn Owl being the only bird of note.

And yes we again travelled west to Boddington Res this afternoon but again failed to pick out the Bonaparte's Gull in the roost!  Eight Crossbills flew west at 3.30pm and other birds included a Goldeneye, 2-3 Kingfishers, 2-3 Grey Wagtails and 3 redpoll sp.

Regards

E & N

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Ringing at Pitsford etc

Hi

Dave Francis managed a ringing session at Pitsford Res yesterday afternoon and this morning, using the old Scaldwell Road Feeding Station.  Seventy new birds were ringed which included 4 Goldcrests, 6 Long-tailed Tits, 26 Tree Sparrows, 6 Chaffinches, 7 Greenfinches, 10 Goldfinches, 5 Yellowhammers and a Moorhen.  This brings the annual total of new Tree Sparrows ringed at this site to 170.

A walk at Harrington Airfield this morning failed to locate any particular birds of note in rather raw conditions.  There were still 4 mobile redpoll sp, winter thrushes and the usual flock of Linnets.  The Brampton Valley below Brixworth and Hanging Houghton also seemed unremarkable with just a few redpoll sp, the odd Siskin and winter thrushes.

And yet again this afternoon we made our way to Boddington Res in another effort to pin down the Bonaparte's Gull.  The gull roost was proportionately large and although the light was initially okay it soon became just too grey and dismal to properly check the furthest birds.  Despite the best efforts of the 7 birders present we didn't locate it.  Other birds present included a Kingfisher and 2 Grey Wagtails.

E & N

Monday, 5 November 2012

On the roam...

Hi

First thing this morning I took a walk at Harrington Airfield.  Loads of passerines present in the bushes and flying over which included 2 Bramblings and a couple of Tree Sparrows amongst the birds coming down for the seed on the concrete track just inside the entrance barrier.  A female Merlin showed well at the opposite end of the concrete track.  Other birds included 2 Ravens and 4 mobile redpoll sp.

Birds near to Kelmarsh Hall included several Siskins and a couple of Lesser Redpolls plus the usual Nuthatches.

A visit to Stanford Res was next but birders on-site informed me that the Black-throated Diver from the last few days was nowhere to be seen, so on I went to Borough Hill CP which provided a fine male Peregrine perched on the mast, 2 Ravens, 2-3 Crossbills, c6 Siskins and c6 flying repoll sp.

A short walk in to Badby Wood from the small car park next to Badby village produced a surprise in the shape of a Corn Bunting with c30 Yellowhammers in a stubble field.  In the wood itself there were c4 Crossbills, 20+ Siskins, a couple of redpoll sp and large numbers of very vocal Nuthatches.  There were two Ravens 'cronking' well here too.  I would strongly recommend a visit to the wood now, the autumn colours are just sensational!

And of course my final destination was Boddington Res where despite Gary Pullan's best efforts we failed again to find the Bonaparte's Gull - confounded thing!  Birds noted included a Goosander that flew in, plus a couple of Kingfishers

Regards

Eleanor

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Rain and some!

Hi

Clearly the interesting weather conditions locally made birding somewhat difficult so this morning was spent filling up feeders at wild bird feed stations in very wet conditions.

This afternoon we again went west to Boddington Res but were unable to pick out the Bonaparte's Gull amongst the throng of other gulls in poor lighting conditions.  Such was the behaviour of the birds and their late arrival, it could easily have been there.

Other birds included a first winter Mediterranean Gull, a drake Red-crested Pochard, a Little Egret, up to 3 Kingfishers and a Water Rail.

E & N

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Ringing & Bonaparte's

Hi

A ringing session at Kelmarsh Hall this morning resulted in 60+ captures of woodland birds which included a male Blackcap, a Nuthatch and both Marsh and Willow Tits.  Some images from Neil H below.  Other birds seen included Raven, a Kingfisher, several Siskins and a couple of redpoll sp. 

At Blueberry Farm this morning there were 4 Bramblings, a few Siskins and 2 Lesser Redpolls.

At Boddington Res this afternoon the maestro Gary Pullan skilfully located the adult Bonaparte's Gull in the gull roost.  The bird was present until dusk and showed well if distantly.  Some images below...

 
Willow Tit

 
Willow Tit (left) and Marsh Tit (right)
The Willow Tit is an adult and the Marsh
Tit was considered a young bird of the year.
Visual features of the Willow Tit include pale-edged
secondaries, creamy and prominent cheeks, mostly
dark bill, diffuse and extended chin spot and variation
in the individual tail lengths.  At this time of
the year the crown is often quite glossy.
The Marsh Tit has a more uniform upperside, whiter and
less prominent cheeks, a smaller and more
intense chin spot, a small silver 'triangle'
at the base of the upper mandible and more evenly
lengthened tail feathers.  The crown is glossy.

 
Nuthatch

 
Coal Tit with abnormal growth


 
Bonaparte's Gull (smaller bird below
centre of image)

Friday, 2 November 2012

New birds in...

Hi

Birds at Blueberry Farm this morning included 2 Short-eared Owls and a fine female Merlin all in the southern-most field.

At Harrington Airfield later there were plenty of common birds present plus an adult female Peregrine and 2 Ravens.

At Pitsford Res there was a Water Pipit in the vicinity of the Maytrees Hide at about 11.15am.  At the same time three adult Whooper Swans were espied in the Scaldwell Bay.  The swans later moved in to the Walgrave Bay where they were still present at 2.15pm.

Unfortunately the Bonaparte's Gull wasn't picked out amongst the Black-headed Gulls at Boddington Res this afternoon.  A couple of Kingfishers, 2 Grey Wagtails and singles of Brambling and redpoll sp were rather poor compensation.

Regards

E & N

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Bonaparte's Gull

Hi

Gary Pullan found an adult Bonaparte's Gull in the gull roost at Boddington Res this afternoon, first located at about 4.15pm and still present at 5pm.  This is believed to be the first reported instance of this species in Northants.  Access to this location is free and there are car parking facilities.  No doubt there will be quite a number of birders present tomorrow afternoon to see if it returns!

This afternoon an adult female Peregrine tore through a flock of gulls in the Brampton Valley below Hanging Houghton this afternoon and successfully caught, killed and consumed a Black-headed Gull.

Eleanor

Ring Ouzel

Hi

This morning, at about 7.45am, there was a male Ring Ouzel with Fieldfares in field hedging just east of the Blueberry Farm complex at SP735748.  Also 2 Bramblings mobile in the immediate area.

Regards

Eleanor