Friday, 1 March 2013

A little early spring transition


A little repetitive but a Red Kite and 2 Ravens again put in appearances at Hanging Houghton today.

A revisit to Mike Alibone's garden at East Hunsbury was productive again today with plenty of Siskins and Lesser Redpolls attracted to niger and sunflower heart feeders.  At this time of the year the plumage of Lesser Redpolls seems more variable than in the autumn, and of course many of the males are now sporting gorgeous pink breasts, rumps and flanks as they make ready for the breeding season. In early February the influx of Siskins to the county were dominated by adult males, all looking stunning in their stunning yellows and greens.  Now many of the males are the young birds from last year, still good-looking but not as pristine as the adults.

Early this afternoon eight adult White-fronted Geese were in fields with Greylags and Canada Geese off the A428 to the south of Northampton (on the left hand side travelling from Northampton).  The best place to view them was from the large lay-by between the respective turnings for Great and Little Houghton.  They were still present at 2.45pm.

On next to Ecton SF below the village of Cogenhoe and accessed via Cogenhoe Mill.  The wintering flock of Chiffchaffs still numbered about 10 birds, and I saw 1 maybe 2 Siberian-type birds which again remained silent (all the 'collybita' birds seemed to be calling well).  Up to three Bearded Tits were heard calling in the phragmites beds but didn't show themselves.  Other birds included a pair of Grey Partridge, 2 Grey Wagtails and a Cetti's Warbler.

The gull roost at Pitsford Res was scrutinised but I couldn't pick anything out that was different.  A Barn Owl was hunting to the east of the dam.


Neil M
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