Saturday, 29 August 2015

Intense Migration!


The county ringers from the Northants Ringing Group were busy today and were split in to teams for operations at Stortons Gravel Pits, Pitsford Reservoir and Harrington Airfield.

John Woollett presided at Stortons where the team were responsible for catching 140 birds, over a hundred of which were warblers. A staggering fifty-seven of the total were Blackcaps and other warblers consisted of six Garden Warblers, twenty Reed Warblers, six Whitethroats, three Cetti's Warblers, three Willow Warblers and seven Chiffchaffs. Other birds included a re-trap Kingfisher from last year and two Sparrowhawks enlivened the day!

Ringing in the Scaldwell Bay at Pitsford was managed by Dave Francis and seventy-nine birds were caught of 23 species. A Kingfisher was a control from elsewhere and the pick of the rest included 10 Blackcaps, 3 Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler, a Reed Warbler, 4 Tree Sparrows, a Yellowhammer, a Willow Tit, a Marsh Tit, a Green Woodpecker, 3 Mallard, 3 Pied Wagtails and 4 Treecreepers.

Harrington Airfield provided 57 captures and where a flock of Chaffinches arrived from somewhere resulting in 15 being caught and ringed. Other finches included 7 Linnets and a Goldfinch but warblers were restricted to 5 Whitethroats, a Blackcap and a Willow Warbler. Seven Yellowhammers and four Reed Buntings also hit the nets and a new Green Woodpecker was the seventh to be ringed at this site during 2015. The ringing highlights for most of the ringers however was a single Tree Pipit and two Redstarts. Other birds noted at Harrington included a Hobby, a juvenile Whinchat, an additional fly-over Tree Pipit, a couple of Siskins and following the harvesting of the wheat crop the local raptors congregated and included several each of Red Kite, Common Buzzard and Kestrel gleaning what they could from the fields.

Migrants were moving through the garden at Hanging Houghton this morning, mostly Blackcaps and Willow Warblers, and overhead a couple of Siskins, four Crossbills and two Ravens flew over.

The same theme continued with Blueberry Farm providing views of five Ravens, a juvenile Marsh Harrier, a Redstart and several Siskins and a single Wheatear. This evening a small pocket of migrants in field hedging between Hanging Houghton and Scaldwell included two Redstarts and a Spotted Flycatcher.


Neil M

Sparrowhawks at Stortons GP
Courtesy of Chris Payne

Tree Pipit

Redstarts at
Harrington Airfield.

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