Sunday, 12 May 2013



Another BOS Long Day Count today, this time it was the turn of SP55 which is to the west and south of Daventry.  Not quite such an early start as yesterday found me at Fawsley Park.  It had been raining just before I arrived and the wind was strong and cold.  Again not ideal conditions and I struggled to find some of the smaller birds I was after.  Both Sedge and Reed Warblers were singing pre-dawn but otherwise it seemed relatively quiet.

Next was a walk up the hill to Badby Wood to complete a circuit of this pristine Bluebell wood.  Plenty of mammals about including Roe and Muntjac Deer, Fox and Hare.  The Bluebell carpet is extensive but is perhaps best on the southern and eastern outskirts.  Badby was also quiet for birds, many of the tits, Nuthatch etc are quieter now that they are laying and incubating.

Then back down the hill to Fawsley for a well-deserved coffee and second breakfast, even more enjoyable with a Little Owl showing nearby.

After a slow meander along the rustic lanes around Badby village, I trundled along to the Catesby area.  A dozen Ravens were mostly first year non-breeding birds and some big gulls in the fields included Lesser Black-backed and Herring.  A Cormorant in full nuptial plumage on one of the large ponds made me wonder if there is a secretive pair breeding nearby.

Half-way through the count and I just wasn't finding relatively common birds.  Eventually I found a single Kestrel and saw just one Sparrowhawk.  I blanked completely on Red-legged Partridge, Lapwing, Jay, Cuckoo, Kingfisher, Grey and Yellow Wagtail.

After scanning fields, copses and a few small lakes in this area I finished up at Mantles Heath and nearby Hen Wood.  Mantles Heath is another fabulous Bluebell wood but was quiet as the rain swept in from the south west and the count was over!

Eleanor remained local and found a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and a Spotted Flycatcher in Cottesbrooke village with another Spotted Flycatcher at nearby Beck Dairy.  A single Cuckoo was the only bird of note at Harrington Airfield.


Neil M

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