Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Cattle Egrets!


Eleanor was out and about early as usual this morning and whilst at Blueberry Farm, Maidwell witnessed two Cattle Egrets flying over the complex, disappearing off over the Cottesbrooke Estate towards Hollowell Reservoir. The birds were calling and neither bird appeared to be in full breeding plumage. Other birds at Blueberry included a singing Grasshopper Warbler and a Hobby.

A subsequent check at Hollowell Res failed to locate the egrets, birds noted there included a Dunlin, three Little Ringed Plovers, a drake Wigeon and a Spotted Flycatcher. A further Spotted Flycatcher was recorded at Lamport Hall.

This afternoon and evening saw an excursion out to Stanwick Gravel Pits and eventually the possible Azorean Gull appeared on the main pit. This bird has been present some time and seen most days by the finder and Stanwick guru Steve Fisher. It seems that the hooded streaking is beginning to fade but the dark markings around the eye remains distinctive. It may never be possible to prove this bird to be the distinctive Azorean race of Yellow-legged Gull but well done to Steve for continuing to check through the bewildering medley of gulls at Stanwick and picking out various interesting individuals over the years.

At least four Yellow-legged Gulls were also present this afternoon, plus a very bleached and pale immature Caspian Gull too.

Most of the big gulls visiting Stanwick are non-breeders but a pair of Lesser Black-backed Gull are nesting on the A45 pit island and causing some consternation. The gulls were clearly concerned about a pair of clumsy Canada Geese and their goslings waddling around the island with an adult repeatedly mobbing the geese. No sooner was this over and the pair of Oystercatcher nesting on the same island decided to mob one of the gulls relentlessly. What it must be like to be popular!


Neil M

A Fox walking up the hill meets a Dog
walking down the hill. They both sat
and watched each other for some time
before the Fox decided to exit through the
hedge in a very cool manner!
Images courtesy of Eleanor.

Juvenile Long-tailed Tit

Some lambs in the Northants
countryside are already three
months old, whilst some are still
being born. This little chap was at
Hollowell Res.

Male Reed Bunting
Hollowell Res

Lesser Black-backed Gull
versus Canada Goose. Nationally
it may be something of a surprise to
learn that the LBb Gull is declining
markedly as a breeding species, despite
the fact that they are spreading inland
and breeding in urban areas and retail/
industrial estates on large
flat roofs.

Lesser Black-backed Gull versus Oystercatcher

Common Tern

Black-headed Gull

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