Sunday, 19 July 2015

A day of rares!


Our intention to ring at Harrington Airfield today was cancelled due to the weather, which ended up being quite fortuitous for me! On an amazing day for county birding, I heard a Bee-eater flying south over our garden at Hanging Houghton at 9.10am. The bird must have been low because it called loudly but wasn't obvious to view and the subsequent calls were much further away. Frustrating that it wasn't a viewing, but the bird I've been waiting to record in the county for many years. An amazing day inasmuch that a White-winged Black Tern was seen at Stanwick Lakes early this morning and then a Bittern was also seen on a couple of occasions and waders included three Little Stints. In addition, a flock of Avocet were found at Clifford Hill GP.

Eleanor was up at Blueberry Farm this morning and spotted an unidentified stork sp flying high overhead. Whether to watch the bird or photograph it is always a dilemma on a rarity fly-through; as it was Eleanor tried to find it using her camera, couldn't locate it in the viewfinder and lost the bird at the same time too. That's the trouble with rare birds, they're always frustrating! On this occasion the specific identification of the stork wasn't clinched.

In the meantime Jacob Spinks was birding in the Scaldwell Bay at Pitsford Reservoir this morning and located a couple of Ruddy Shelduck, four Black-tailed Godwits and a Little Egret.

Swifts were very much on the move today, perhaps the last big push of the season and Siskins were moving in good numbers early this morning and again this evening. An adult Red Kite is no longer an unusual sight at Hanging Houghton, but the accompanying begging juvenile was far more interesting and more than suggestive of successful local breeding. Two or three Kingfishers in the Brampton Valley below Hanging Houghton this afternoon were probably part of a family group.

At Pitsford Reservoir this evening, I visited the Sailing Club area but the autumn gull roost has yet to materialise with no more than 40 gulls present which did include a Common Gull and an adult Yellow-legged Gull. At 9.10pm a flock of ten summer plumage Black-tailed Godwits arrived and flew around slowly with exquisite grace typical of this species, and were last seen heading off towards the causeway. Also present was at least one Oystercatcher, a female Tufted Duck with 7 ducklings, a juvenile Shelduck and a hunting Barn Owl.


Neil M
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