With the promise of wintery weather and decent light for a change, it was an excuse to bird at some of our favourite locations in the north of Northants today.
First we jogged around Fineshade Wood where we slipped and slid along the trails and tracks of the whole complex first thing without meeting a soul. Although there were plenty of common birds, nothing of particular note was seen in the greater part of the woodland, a few Lesser Redpolls and Siskins and some Fallow Deer being the highlight. At Top Lodge itself, scanning provided six species of raptor which included 2 Peregrines, one of which interacted briefly with a female Merlin over towards the Abbey.
A wander down to the wildlife hide was worthwhile with tits and other common birds coming to the feeders which are still being serviced in the now absence of the RSPB on site.
After a well-earned 'brunch' at the Fineshade cafe, next it was across the A43 to nearby Wakerley Wood. A short circuit failed to locate much of note, just the odd Lesser Redpoll and Siskin or two.
Next was Blatherwycke Lake which looks very bare now that many of the trees have been felled. Plenty of wildfowl on the water, but six Mandarin Ducks were the only birds of note. Red Kites were in double figures and visible on every horizon.
We spent a short time looking for the Waxwings at Oakley Vale, Corby but failed to connect [14 or so present yesterday].
Our last venue was Fermyn Wood CP which was absolutely full of Redwings and Fieldfares but not a great deal else. A wander of the fields to the north east of Fermyn Wood yielded the second female Merlin of the day. Small numbers of Siskins and just a couple of Lesser Redpolls were present in the country park but sadly no sign of any Hawfinches.
E & N