Whilst out and about today and driving, Eleanor saw an egret sp in flight near Nether Heyford flying west which seemed big, and an Osprey was over Brixworth village at 12.15pm. I saw a Hobby at Lamport and a brief excursion to Kelmarsh Hall provided views of a singing male Grey Wagtail, a pair of Spotted Flycatcher and a confused 'phylloscopus' warbler singing both Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler songs phrases in the same burst. An evening walk at Blueberry Farm, Maidwell this evening produced two calling Grey Partridges plus singing singles of Lesser Whitethroat and Grasshopper Warbler.
Dave Francis and Lynne Barnett paid a visit to the floating tern rafts at Pitsford Res today. Thirty-three Common Tern nests was a good number, with many females still to lay more eggs. A dead adult Common Tern on one of the rafts bore a ring, but the number is not a recognised Pitsford sequence so no doubt we will hear more of the origins of this bird to the future. Three Oystercatcher chicks were alive and well on one of the rafts (a fourth had died) and these birds were ringed.
In the meantime a team of ringers were active at Stortons Gravel Pits this morning, the still and pleasant conditions providing a catch of 62 birds. Of these, twelve were new Reed Warblers and seven were new Sedge Warblers. In addition John Woollett and the team identified one 'control' of each species (birds originally ringed elsewhere), and an individual Reed Warbler ringed at Stortons GP in 2010 but not recorded again until today.
I understand that there has been something of an ecological disaster at Stanwick Gravel Pits following sluice management in the week which has caused widespread flooding in and around the pits and sadly swamped all the nests of ground-nesting birds including terns, gulls and breeding warblers.
|Pitsford tern rafts|
|Dave Francis with an Oystercatcher|
chick. They both have beards but Dave
is the one with the hat and specs!
All images courtesy of Lynne Barnett