Monday, 29 May 2017

Bank Holiday Monday


A rather later than anticipated visit to Harrington Airfield this morning provided some interesting sightings of two Turtle Doves, at least three pairs of Grey Partridges, a singing Sedge Warbler (not a common bird here!) and a reeling Grasshopper Warbler, only the second recorded here this year. So some late passage warblers it seems amongst the established Whitethroats and Willow Warblers. 

We were just preparing to leave when the distinctive calls of a Hawfinch could be heard distantly but coming closer, and then the sound of a second bird too. They appeared overhead and flew strongly in a north-east direction, still emitting the distinctive 'syheep' call followed by the clipped 'tick' sound at precisely 9.47am! Something we wouldn't have seen had we visited earlier as per our best intentions!

I heard a Hawfinch calling and flying over Harrington a couple of autumns ago but just couldn't see it; so these represent my first sight records in over thirty years of visiting this disused airfield.

Other bits and bobs during the day didn't quite match the Hawfinches but there were three Grey Wagtails at Beck Dairy, Cottesbrooke and Spotted Flycatchers at Maidwell village church and Dale Farm (between Maidwell and Haselbech).

Birds at Pitsford Reservoir amounted to a Grey Plover in the Scaldwell Bay for most of the day, a Ringed Plover, two Little Ringed Plovers, six Oystercatchers (three adults and three chicks), a moulting drake Mandarin Duck in the Scaldwell Bay and two Yellow-legged Gulls (2nd summer and 3rd summer).


Neil M

Male Chaffinch
courtesy of Cathy Ryden.

Jay, courtesy of
Cathy Ryden.

Red-legged Partridge,
courtesy of Cathy Ryden.

Starling, courtesy of
Robin Gossage.

Great Crested Grebe,
courtesy of Robin Gossage.

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