Friday, 31 January 2014

Waterlogged Birding


Okay so it's raining well now but there was actually a break in the weather this morning when it actually wasn't raining.  Amazing!

I was in neighbouring Cambridgeshire today but managed to spend an hour or so birding at Paxton Pits, an interesting old gravel pit complex managed as a nature reserve just off the A1.  An early morning Smew trio included two very smart drakes and a couple of Goosanders were present too.  Just like the birds in Northants, the Grey Herons and Cormorants were busy sorting out their nests, the herons in particular being very vocal.

Eleanor managed to find some dry time to enjoy a walk around a waterlogged Blueberry Farm and confirmed that the usual birds were somehow still surviving the deluge and included the pair of Stonechat, a Barn Owl and two Red Kites.

A quick foray at Pitsford Res this afternoon provided views of a Great White Egret in the Moulton Grange Bay and the Great Northern Diver still in the vicinity of the Holly Tree.

Comparatively little bird ringing has taken place in the county so far this year due to the wet and windy conditions, but a couple of ringers are attracting good numbers of Reed Buntings in their respective gardens.  Several ringing records and recoveries of this species last winter proved very interesting inasmuch that several local birds were clearly mobile around the county and were recorded visiting several sites including gardens, and then later found back at the original ringing venues.  Clearly the provision of feedstuffs in the latter part of the winter and spring is proving crucial to their survival.

In one local garden red millet feeders are proving very attractive to this species and if you want to attract Reed Buntings to your garden you may wish to try this food too!


Neil M
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