Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Autumn is here

Slightly premature perhaps, but for many birds the summer is over. The first trickle of returning migrants is beginning to arrive in the county. Birds that have failed to breed in higher latitudes will be making their way back south to their wintering grounds, usually with a little less urgency than they made the northward bound journey.
Summer Leys has seen the first of these returning birds recently with 7, 3 and 6 summer plumage Black-tailed Godwits having been seen on Sunday, Monday and today respectively. Also present are Green and Common Sandpipers, although they are quite elusive.
The Little-ringed Plover family is still at full strength, all four chicks have nearly trebled in size in the 9 days since their hatching. In addition there are at least two fledged youngsters present that have flown in from another breeding location, plus 4 other resident birds, two of which have a clutch that will hopefully hatch any day now.
Insects are in abundance with Brown Hawker, Black-tailed Skimmer and Emperor Dragonflies on the wing. Numerous Small Tortoiseshell and Red Admiral butterflies can be seen round the reserve, particularly on the Buddleias, near to the feed station. Also near the feed station a particularly enormous variety of horse fly (Tabanus Autumnalis) has been observed, a rarity in Northants.
Finally a pair of Spotted Flycatchers in a private garden, are giving delightful close-up views from a variety of perches as they scan for insects.

                     Neil H.

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