Over the past few days most of my birding has been confined to Blueberry, Harrington and Sywell Reservoir.
Birds seen around the Blueberry complex include Common Redstart, up to 6 Whinchat and a Wheatear. The Raven's have been plentiful and vocal as have Red Kite. It is sometimes hard to believe that Red Kite were "rare" in the county and we used to travel each year to mid Wales to watch them, but now I see them every day over the garden, wonderful !
At the weekend I made several trips to the highest point at Blueberry and stood around scanning the vast expanse of sky around me. I wasn't looking for birds of the "feathered" variety but aircraft !!! I wasn't disappointed as both the Vulcan and Red Arrows came right over my head. But I did also pick up a juv Marsh Harrier, female Peregrine and Barn Owl.
I always enjoy a walk around Sywell Reservoir. I think that it is very under watched but has the potential to pick up a goodie. The water level is dropping and there is quite a decent muddy margin in places. I was surprised to see so many Wigeon present. Other birds included Spotted Flycatchers, Water Rail, Kingfisher, Grey Wagtails and Siskins everywhere. At one point there was a flock of 60+ birds flying around filling the air with their wonderful call.
Infact there are Siskins everywhere and there really does seem to be a huge movement of these birds. Each time I venture out I hear Siskins flying over and they have already been on the feeders in our garden.
This morning when I looked out and saw the low mist I felt that Harrington was calling. I was not disappointed. I timed it to perfection as the mist was just lifting as I arrived and had cleared by the time I left. Today was a good day for Harrington as there was definitely a movement of birds. This is one of the best area's I know to witness active migration as you can see and hear birds flying over. There was a constant stream of Hirundines literally a few feet off the ground. Two Tree Pipits , Wheatear, 4+ Whinchat and Common Redstart were in the bushes on the rough area with a further Common Redstart and Spotted Flycatcher at the shooting wall. Again good numbers of Siskin flying over along with 2 Lesser Redpolls , 2 Crossbills, Brambling and several Grey Wagtails. The covey of Grey Partridge remain around the bunkers and a couple of Raven's were flying around and generally enjoying themselves.
Whilst visiting my parents I took the opportunity to walk across the fields to the hedgerow near Walgrave which has been a magnet for Common Redstart. I haven't checked this hedge for a few days and I wasn't really expecting to see any. However as I approached the hedge I could hear one calling. I saw 2 female type and a superb male Common Redstart. I have a distant photograph of the male thanks to an irritating Robin which kept chasing the male Common Redstart every time it came close to where I was standing. I've no idea whether these are new birds moving along this hedge or whether these birds have been here for some time. I'm sure that it will not be long until the hedgerow is empty.
Other birds in the general area included more Siskins, 4 Lesser Redpoll, 4+ Crossbill , 2 Spotted Flycatcher and 2 Grey Wagtail.