Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Heading East...


Eleanor was off to Norfolk for a few days and left early this morning. En-route of course she couldn't resist a wander around Harrington Airfield and saw a Turtle Dove actually on the concrete track and a hunting Barn Owl.

Just off the A14 east of Kettering is the rather lovely Twywell Hills and Dales Country Park and that was her next venue. Here large numbers of Common Spotted Orchids look an absolute picture and here also there was a Turtle Dove, a Raven and a calling Cuckoo. A sign of the times, this was Eleanor's first calling Cuckoo of the year - just in time really because some of them are already heading back south!

A little further east and Eleanor walked around the Titchmarsh Reserve at Thrapston Gravel Pits, notching up at least six singing Cetti's Warblers. Other birds here included a Peregrine, three Hobbys and another Cuckoo.

Not surprisingly Titchwell on the Norfolk coast was her next stop where she managed to see the vagrant summer plumage Great Knot which is currently commuting between there and Scolt Head.

Away from all this excitement I felt privileged to find a pair of Grey Partridge on the outskirts of Hanging Houghton this morning, and then found a single bird on the other side of the village in the afternoon. Four Ravens were an impressive sight between the villages of Scaldwell and Brixworth early this afternoon.

Also today Dave Francis was afloat at Pitsford Reservoir checking on the tern rafts. An estimated 52 nests is good news and to date this year 39 Common Tern chicks have been ringed. Dave's timing was excellent inasmuch that he liberated a brood of Greylag Geese and a brood of Mallard which had laid eggs on the rafts but had no means to reach the water (the rafts have border panels to prevent Common Tern chicks from falling off and to counter significant wave action). The pair of Oystercatcher have also hatched four chicks on one of the rafts.


Neil M


Common Tern

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